Teenage striker trains as Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag waits for a big money arrival

Teenage striker trains as Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag waits for a big money arrival

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is waiting for the arrival of a big name striker. A lack of depth could see him turn to academy options.

Anthony Martial enters pre-season as Manchester United’s leading striker option, unfortunately, with the Red Devils yet to secure the signature of a new centre forward.

United’s squad options at this early stage is depleted with international stars missing the start of pre-season. While this will soon see returning players fill up the ranks upon their arrival, there are no strikers due back.

This leaves 19-year-old forward Joe Hugill among the options Erik ten Hag could turn to for Wednesday’s friendly against Leeds.

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Manchester United Training Session
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Joe Hugill chance awaits

Joe Hugill was pictured at Carrington (above right with Dan Gore) as Manchester United trained on Monday.

With Anthony Martial very unlikely to play more than 45 minutes against Leeds (in fact most players will play 45 max), there is a good chance Hugill sees game time in the upcoming friendlies.

The former Sunderland trainee featured very briefly in pre-season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and also in a winter friendly under Erik ten Hag last December.

This time he arrives with a brief spell on loan at Altrincham behind him, where he played competitive senior football for the first time last season, scoring on his debut.

Another loan spell possibly this time in the Football League awaits for the teenager, unless he can convince Erik ten Hag that he deserves to stay and compete for a first team spot.

These early pre-season games are a chance for Hugill to try and stake a claim, before Manchester United add a striker or two to the squad.

He has a strong goal record at academy level and has little to gain from another season with the under-21s.

Joe Hugill academy goal record

Joe Hugill has an impressive record of 46 goals in 80 games for Manchester United’s academy sides.

These include 24 goals in 41 matches at PL2 under-21 level where he averages a goal every 122 minutes.

He had previously struck 19 goals in 25 under-18 league games with a goal every 100 minutes.

Hugill has also added to his tally with goals in UEFA Youth League, FA Youth Cup, and EFL Trophy matches.

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