Manchester United continue to bolster their Academy squad. The club is looking to build a sustained source of success from the lower levels in order to have homegrown first-teamers sooner than later. After all, the youth ranks did not have many promising players once Sir Alex Ferguson left, and it has been quite hard to build a strong youth side in recent years.
However, the club has been turning a corner in recent years. Especifically, they have done it over the past few months with the arrivals of international talent, such as Arnau Puigmal and Aliou Traore, and they also possess some of the finest young English players, where the name of Angel Gomes speaks for itself. But Nicky Butt’s job overhauling the Academy ranks is far from over. The former defensive midfielder has signed another talented player. This time, United has secured the services of Lukasz Bejger, a versatile defender who also happens to be the captain of the Poland U16 side.
Bejger operates better as a centre-back, but can also play as a right-back when needed. His composure and leadership skills stand out, and United made a great move to sign him since Manchester City were also keen to secure the services of the talented defender. The 16-year-old Lech Poznan star underwent a successful trial with The Red Devils, and chose to sign with the Old Trafford outfit hoping to become the first Polish player to feature for United’s senior side in the near future.
Bejger is the latest name of a suddenly-stacked youth rank
A natural-born leader and a versatile player, Bejger has already been compared to Monaco’s defender Kamil Glik. He might not be a household name for casual football fans, but he is one of the toughest centre-backs in Europe at the moment. He would be an interesting player if he reaches that ceiling, although there is a long path to advance considering he is only 16 years old. At the moment, he can be eligible to join the Academy side ahead of the 2018-19 season.
This is all part of a recruitment effort to revitalize the team’s youth set-up. Butt has been leading this effort and the results are there for everyone to see them. Tahith Chong, Lee O’Connor, Nishan Burkart, Millen Baars and Joshua Bohui are among the players who have arrived since Butt replaced Brian McClair in February 2016. And we have to add the names of Puigmal, Traore, Gomes and now Bejger into the mix.
It is still too early to say when he might become a member of United’s first team. Maybe he goes through the ranks quickly, like Gomes and Traore. But there is also a chance he takes it one year at a time. After all, settling in a new country being a teenager is never easy. And his ETA (estimated time of arrival) will depend on how comfortable he feels within his new surroundings. But one thing is clear. The talent is there for everyone to see it.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Manchester United have one of the best Academy systems not only in Europe, but in the entire world. And the recent signings certainly confirm that idea.