Wilson, Pereira, could suffer as Manchester United ready for new blow

Old Trafford

Manchester United's youngsters may have some bad news thanks to the senior team's failings.

The semi-finals of the UEFA Youth League took place yesterday, and there was not an English team in sight.

Arsenal and Chelsea were knocked out at the quarter-final stage, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Schalke and Benfica remaining.

Manchester United's team did not get past the group stage of the under-19 tournament, designed as a way of aiding the development of young players around Europe by allowing clubs to test talents against peers of a similar level.

But the Red Devils have a potential problem on the horizon if they have designs on improving on this year's showing - they may be refused entry.

Qualification for this year's tournament was given specifically to the young teams whose senior sides were competing in the Premier League.

And UEFA have given no indication that next year there will be any change to that ruling.

It means with Manchester United being set to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League next season, the young players at the club are likely to find themselves lacking an invitation for next year's youth league.

This season's competition has been a big success for UEFA, building where the NextGen Series left off. Players from Manchester United to feature in the competition include reserve player of the year nominee Saidy Janko.

Top talents at the club James Wilson, 18, and Andreas Pereira, 18, are among those who will be denied the opportunity to test themselves once again against Europe's very best in their age group.

Essentially United's top youngsters are being punished for the failings of the senior side, a perhaps unrealised consequence of the shortcomings made by David Moyes' team.

With clubs reportedly less than enthused by the competition in the under-21 Premier League, it's certainly disappointing for United's youngsters if they miss out on their own mini-Champions League through no fault of their own.

What it could mean, if United do qualify for the Europa League, is that a need to give youngsters games and balance the squad, may mean it is more likely the more exciting talents at the club get opportunities in the competition.

Whether that's a reason for United to hope they qualify for a competition which is of little priority of the club, is another matter to be debated altogether.

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