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Man United academy player “reminds me of Saka” says Old Trafford coach



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Manchester United U21s coach Tom Huddlestone has been raving about two recent academy products in recent weeks following first-team appearances this season.

Tom Huddlestone has been playing for Manchester United‘s U21s this season and scored against Manchester City a few weeks ago, generating a lot of confusion among fans.

There was so much confusion, in fact, that UtdDistrict‘s post about the goal generated 3.2 million impressions on social media platform X, with many feeling that Huddlestone looks too old to play for the U21s team.

Huddlestone is 27 years old, having been born in September 1986 – but he plays a hybrid coach/player role with the academy team as academies are allowed to field two players older than 21 each game.

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This, of course, means that Huddlestone has spent a lot of time immersing himself within the academy talent, and he has had quite significant praise for two individuals who are now becoming part of Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad.

The first is Kobbie Mainoo. The 18-year-old midfielder has been a revelation in United’s team across the last few months, becoming a regular starter for Ten Hag – and Huddlestone has explained that on his first day at Carrington, he immediately spotted Mainoo’s talent.

“On my first day at Carrington, I came up and had a look at the lads in training,“ he told Sportbible. “I was speaking to a friend on the way back home and said, ‘There are two lads who stood out during that session, and one of them is a player called Kobbie Mainoo. He looks like a younger version of Yaya Toure’.”

The other was Omari Forson, who Huddlestone explains reminds him of Arsenal’s star player Bukayo Saka.

“The other player was Omari. He reminds me of the way Bukayo Saka plays. He’s good with both feet and can finish very well, especially with his left foot.”

Last month, against Wolves, Mainoo and Forson became the first teenagers to both be involved in an extra-time Premier League game-winning goal since Cristiano Ronaldo assisted Wayne Rooney in 2005.

Forson has made five appearances for United this season, including a start against Fulham last weekend.