Manchester United’s famed youth academy has produced many talented players over the years, and 2023 is no exception. The club’s focus on developing homegrown talent dates back to the “Class of ’92” era, when icons like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes emerged.
While United’s current crop of academy graduates may not yet have achieved the legendary status of their predecessors, they remain highly valued assets. Using data from Transfermarkt, we’ve identified the 5 most valuable Old Trafford academy products in 2023.
Dwight McNeil’s – £17 million
McNeil’s journey in football has been defined by overcoming adversity. As a teenager, he faced disappointment when released by Manchester United’s academy at 14 years old. But the setback only fueled his determination.
Picked up by Burnley after his United departure, McNeil has thrived. Despite his young age of 23, the winger has already amassed 171 Premier League appearances.
Last season presented new challenges, as McNeil moved to struggling Everton. But he impressed nonetheless, scoring 7 goals and notching 3 assists for the Toffees.
Jack Harrison – £18.9 million
Jack Harrison’s unconventional path to the Premier League has shaped him into a top talent. With experience at the academies of Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City as a youth, Harrison had a unique football upbringing.
However, it was at Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa where the winger’s career first took flight. Bielsa gave Harrison, now 26, his real breakthrough in English football. The Argentine’s tutelage developed Harrison into a dangerous Premier League winger.
With a new challenge awaiting next season on loan at Everton, the well-traveled Harrison possesses the ability and resilience to keep rising. His unorthodox journey stands as proof that there are many routes to the top.
Garnacho – £21.4 million
The emergence of Alejandro Garnacho has Manchester United fans buzzing about the future. At just 18 years old, the Argentine winger already displays star potential valued at £21.4 million.
While raw and needing refinement, Garnacho possesses the pace, flair and confidence to thrive at the highest level. His immediate impact when featuring for United this season, whether starting or off the bench, has been hugely impressive.
As manager Erik ten Hag noted, «He has had a big impact in many games: whether starting or coming on, he’s straight into the game and that’s so important for the squad».
Scott McTominay – £21.4 million
Scott steady consistency for Manchester United has been overshadowed amid the club’s recent turbulence. But the Scottish midfielder remains a valued asset, boasting a market value of £21.4 million.
With new manager Erik ten Hag at the helm, McTominay has seen his first-team chances limited. Yet he continues to shine brightly for Scotland as a clutch performer.
Despite his reduced role for United, McTominay has emerged as the joint-top scorer in Euro 2024 qualifying with an impressive 6 goals for his country.
While not always grabbing headlines at Old Trafford, McTominay’s solidity and work ethic make him an important squad player. Ten Hag will surely call upon the Scotsman’s experience and quality when needed this season.
Marcus Rashford – £68.6 million
Marcus Rashford stands head and shoulders above the rest as Manchester United’s most valuable academy graduate. The 25-year-old forward boasts a towering transfer value of £68.6 million, triple that of any other homegrown Red Devil.
Under manager Erik ten Hag, Rashford has come to life, scoring more goals than any United player this season. Yet there is a sense the English international can reach even higher levels.
Having come through United’s youth system, Rashford embodies the club’s traditions and identity. He represents the present and future at Old Trafford.
While other academy products have moved on, Rashford remains the crown jewel – a player any club in the world would covet. At just 25, his best years surely still lie ahead.
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