After Paddy McNair and Tom Thorpe, who is next for Manchester United?
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has already lived up to his reputation by giving a number of young players a chance this season.
Some of those were more through necessity than choice, but the simple fact is the Dutchman has shown he is not afraid to give people a chance regardless of their age.
The latest players to be given league debuts are Paddy McNair and Tom Thorpe, the former starting the match against West Ham United and the latter coming on as a late substitute.
But there are plenty more United youngsters who could make their league bow before the season is out, and here are the top five:
The attacking midfielder has been on the bench for United’s last two home league matches but he is yet to experience top flight action.
He did make his senior debut for the club in the League Cup against MK Dons earlier this season, but having been included in the match-day squad for the games against Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United, surely he will taste Premier League action before too long.
A midfielder with an uncanny resemblance (in terms of playing style) to Paul Scholes, Pearson is one to watch at the club. The 19-year-old has a fantastic passing range and the ability to shield the ball and create a crucial second for himself.
Van Gaal is likely to be impressed with Pearson and injuries and suspensions could allow the teenager a chance before the season is through.
The winger is becoming a goal-scoring sensation for United’s under-18s and van Gaal is already reportedly preparing a new contract for the young Englishman.
Mitchell is being tipped to become the next young wide-man to break through at Old Trafford and his pace and finishing ability is such that he could well see minutes from the bench in due course, especially if Angel Di Maria is ruled out for any length of time.
Another player who made his senior debut in the League Cup, Janko could become United’s next right-back if he continues his current trajectory. The Swiss-born player has the ability to play anywhere on the right-side of the pitch and his development since moving to United last summer has been extraordinary.
With reports claiming Rafael had been told he could leave United prior to this season, one wonders if van Gaal has big plans for Janko.
Another right-back, who has enjoyed a fruitful loan spell away from the club, Vermijl is of an age when he would have expected to have made his first league start for United by now.
At 22, he will be hoping his League Cup appearance is not the only time he gets to show van Gaal what he can do this season, and his experience is likely to put him ahead of Janko should Rafael be unavailable or make one too many mistakes for his boss’s liking.