In 3 years time, it will be 2024 and the Manchester United squad is certainly going to look different but there will still be many familiar faces from the first team and academy. United have worked hard on improving the academy so they can produce more first-team talent.
In 3 years, Dean Henderson will be 27 years old and should be an established first-team keeper in world football. Most likely it will be at Manchester United as he has already risen above club legend David De Gea in the depth chart which shows his willingness to compete. With the academy’s goalkeepers not the strongest, United would likely prefer Henderson to be the goalkeeper of the club for the next decade.
Verdict: United’s Number 1
David De Gea:
David De Gea has had one of the most uncommon declines from a world-class keeper. Traditionally, goalkeepers hit their prime in their late 20’s into their early 30’s and stay at the top-level until 35. David De Gea seems to have peaked in his mid 20’s and declined in the last few years. By 2024, he will most likely be playing in Spain.
In 2024, Harry Maguire will be entering the final years of his contract, but by that point, it would be assumed that United had extended their captain. The most expensive defender in the world has been heavily criticized since moving to United, but has improved tremendously in the last 2 years. In 2024, he will be 31 and be nearing the end of his prime years, but hopefully has captained us to many trophies.
Verdict: Still here as United Captain
Luke Shaw has had one of the biggest comebacks in world football in recent years. Looking like an out of shape left-back under Jose who rarely played to now arguably the best left back in the world, it has been a wild ride for Shaw and he is only 25. He has not even reached his best yet and if his performances now can be even better that is a scary sight. By 2024, Shaw will be 28 and entering his physical prime years. If he continues at this rate, he will be the best left back in the world in 2024 and being United’s number 1 left back meaning players like Alex Telles might not be at the club anymore.
Verdict: Still here as one of United’s main players
Aaron Wan Bissaka:
Wan Bissaka is one of the harder players on this list to determine and that is all dependent on his improvement in the attacking third. Wan Bissaka is arguably the best defensive fullback in the world, but his attacking output leaves lots of questions. While he has improved in his first 2 years and is still young, he will need to improve further to be United’s number 1 choice at right back. He will be 26 by the time the season starts but its tough to decide. Ethan Laird from the academy may have overcome his injury woes, allowing him to strongly challenge Wan-Bissaka for the right-back spot.
Verdict: Still here
When Axel Tuanzebe was coming up through the academy, he was supposed to be United’s future CB, but so far it has not panned out that way. His breakout performance in the UCL against PSG this past season showcased his talent but whether he will get the minutes and games to show that on a consistent level is very unlikely. With Maguire and a new CB arriving this summer, it seems Axel is lost in the pack. His path right now shows a career at another Premier League Club.
Verdict: At another Premier League Club
The most controversial figure at Manchester United, Paul Pogba, is entering the final year of his contract at Old Trafford. As of now, unfortunately, it looks like he is not staying at the club, but if he extends he will be here in 3 years. He will be 31 and still in his prime. During his tenure at United, we have failed him by not building properly around him and it is a shame we are doing it as he is leaving. If he leaves United, he will be at another elite European club and I personally feel it will be at PSG.
Verdict: Not here and at PSG
One of the most beloved figures at United right now, Bruno Fernandes will be 29 in 3 years and in his prime. The recent saviour of Manchester United is rumoured to sign a new contract that will extend his time at United past the 2024 mark. Bruno will garner interest from other top European clubs if he continues to produce world-class numbers. If United contend for the league and win trophies on a yearly basis it is most likely Fernandes stays at Old Trafford, as United are one of his dream clubs. He is one of the leaders in the dressing room and all the players love him. By 2024, United will hopefully have surrounded him with more world-class players so the weight of the club is not all on his shoulders – something they could not do for Pogba.
Verdict: Still at United as one of the most important players
Scott Mctominay is a player that many academy players hopefully want to become in terms of career progression. Scott has been at United since age 5, progressed through the ranks in the academy and is now an established player at the club. By 2024, the Scotsman will be 27, but the question is what role he will have. For the past 2 seasons, he has been playing in a pivot as a defensive midfielder, but he appears to be at his best as a box-to-box. Personally, I feel McTominay is a squad player that can be useful in bigger games like Darren Fletcher was for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Verdict: Still here as a Squad Player
Donny Van De Beek:
United’s first signing of last summer, Donny Van de Beek, has not seemed to fit in well at United due to his lack of playing time. While he can be a Pogba replacement, I personally feel that a club like Barcelona will come with an offer next summer that will tempt him to leave and will be a better fit as he just doesn’t suit United style of football.
Verdict: Not at United
Marcus Rashford is the most inspiring player in this United team. Born in Manchester, a childhood United fan living his dream, scored on his debut at a packed Old Trafford and is one of the superstars of the team. He is the face of Manchester United right now and will be for the next decade-plus. He is currently 23 and will be 26 when the 2024 season starts. He will not even be near his best by then. If he can stay healthy the sky is the limit with him. By 2024 he will most likely be in line for the captaincy after Harry Maguire leaves. In 2024, hopefully, he is in the frontline with two other young English forwards.
Verdict: Still at United as the face of the team
The star boy. For Mason Greenwood, the sky is truly the limit. One of the best goalscorers to come through the Manchester United academy, the kid is only 19. He will be 22 in 2024 when the season starts and nowhere near the best he can be. He will have just finished fitting into his adult body and developing into a professional number 9. He is already an extraordinary talent, being able to finish at a world-class level with both feet, has the strength, the intelligence, and the skills to be a generational player. If he can develop correctly, he will be a Balon d’Or contender, that’s how good he can be. Having Marcus Rashford by your side as your mentor is not a bad thing either. As well as the current mentor he has in Edinson Cavani.
Verdict: Still here as the starting striker of the club
If his medicals go well, Jadon Sancho will be a Manchester United player. At 21 years old he is one of the best young players in the world and is a player that can certainly win the Balon d’Or one day. By 2024, he will be 24 years old and most likely one of if not the best winger in world football. He is another player that the sky is the limit with. One of the best dribblers in the world and one of the best creators in the world, he will be a force to be reckoned with. In 2024 Sancho, Rashford, and Greenwood will be a tremendous strike force for United. That might be England’s front three as well. He is United’s third most expensive player so the expectations will be high on him, so by 2024, we will know whether he has lived up to them. If he has, United will most likely have won a Premier League title in that stretch.
Verdict: Still at United as a superstar winger
When Anthony Martial made his debut for United In August 2015 and scored that solo goal, United fans thought we had the next French superstar. 6 years later, Martial has never lived up to his golden boy potential. There are many factors for that, some his fault and some not. Currently 25 years old, it looks like his time at Old Trafford is almost done, and a new move would benefit him and his future. In 2024, at 28 years old, the Frenchman will most likely be at the club that he goes to after Manchester United. A part of me feels like PSG might go in for him as Pochettino highly rates him.
Verdict: Not at United
Academy/Young First Team Players that will be in the first team in 2024:
When Amad was bought last summer, many knew it was a move for the future. He was a highly rated prospect from Atalanta with the potential to be a world-class winger one day. United bought into that hype and bought him. At 18 years old, Amad is still very young and a couple of years away from being a consistent first-team player, which is why United may loan him out. However, in 2024, he will be 21, much stronger and more developed into his body. He will be ready for consistent first-team football as he has shown the glimpses from now. He will be one of the players that lead a new era of Manchester United and hopefully a successful one along with his other great teammates.
Verdict: Still at United as potentially a starter
When United bought Hannibal in 2019 from Monaco, it was one of the most expensive transfers for a 16-year-old. This evidenced United’s belief that Mejbri will be a special player one day. In the academy, he has proven that, and that led to him getting his debut this season against Wolves. Currently 18-years old, he will be 21 by 2024, and in my opinion a starter at Man United. I think this season coming up is his last as a nonstarter at United, and then the keys to the midfield will be his, next to Bruno. The kid can play every midfield position and has the aggressiveness and attitude to succeed. By 2024, he will be stronger and smarter, and that is a scary thought. His time to shine will soon come.
Verdict: At United as a starting midfielder
United have many good academy forwards that will have to fight it out to see who can be in the squad, but what they do lack is quality academy defenders. The exception is Teden Mengi. This past season, the 19-year-old went on loan to Derby, and hopefully, he gets another loan this season. By 2024, he will be 22 and still a very young centre-halve. The difference between them and forwards is that centre-halves take more time to develop so Mengi should not be expected to be a starter at that age. I expect him to be like Axel and either be on loan at another Premier League club or be one of the 4 centre-halves in the rotation.
Verdict: At United, but on a loan to another Premier League Club
The youngest player on this list is 17-year-old Shola Shoretire. Shola has quickly progressed through the United ranks and is the youngest ever United player to make a European appearance. By 2024, the youngster will be 20 and still be developing. I do not think United will loan him out, as I think whoever is the manager will want him at Carrington and continue developingat United as part of the first team.
Verdict: Still at United
Charlie McNeill was signed last summer into the academy and was known to be a certified gunman, living up to the reputation by scoring 25 goals last season. By 2024, he will be 20 and will likely be a backup to Greenwood as his knack for goalscoring will be a trait the manager will love.
Verdict: Still at United
Garner is currently the most likely United academy midfielder to be in the first team, after impressing with a great loan spell at Nottingham Forest. In 2024, he will be 23 and fighting for a spot in what will be a crowded midfield.
Verdict: Still at United
Ethan Galbraith is similar to Garner where he looks like he is very close to being in the United senior team squad. At 20-years old, it seems like he is better than the academy level so a loan might be good for him right now. By 2024, he will be 23 and might be the deep lying playmaker that United have been missing.
Verdict: Still at United
Ethan Laird is a player that if he can stay healthy, has the potential to be the starting right back at Manchester United. Turning 20 in a month, he will be 23 in 2024 and has all the tools of a modern-day fullback. He is quick, strong, and can attack. If he can stay healthy and impress Ole in training, he will be the starting right back at United.
Verdict: Still at United