United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Reds miss out on two youngsters, allegedly compete with Arsenal for two more

Posted by nickogs20 on June 18, 2008

Pablo PiattiThe transfer silly season is hotting up and, as ever, any player with an agent seeking to get his client a better deal or lucrative transfer is briefing any media outlet that cares to listen about interest from (among others) Manchester United. This is increasingly the case with youngsters as well, and with that in mind, this article comes with a free pinch of salt for every reader…

19 year old Argentine prospect Pablo Piatti has allegedly turned down approaches from United and Juventus to sign for Spanish side Almeria. Touted as, yawn, ‘the new Lionel Messi’ (anyone else noticed how ‘new Messi’ appears to have become the new ‘new Maradona’? Bit premature…), the Estudiantes forward was a member of Argentina’s victorious Under-20 World Cup squad last year and will be particularly notable to Football Manager fans. It should be noted that the only suggestion we were ever interested in acquiring Piatti has come from his new club Almeria, no doubt keen to hype up their new recruit and his decision to join them. More like a fistful of salt methinks.

More truth in this one – Standard Liege’s Jose-Paul Mpoku has turned us down in favour of joining Tottenham Hotspur. Mpoku’s one we’ve been known to have an interest in for a while but it seems Spurs’ interest was the one the 16 year-old became aware of first and the most serious. The Congolese-born Belgian national will move to White Hart Lane on a four year contract.

Onto those we may still sign (I emphasise ‘may’). Demetris Christofi and Mujanji Bia – ringing any bells? Me neither. Bia is a 19 year-old midfielder from DR Congo who plays in Belgium with Charleroi, and has intriguingly been compared to Franck Ribéry. Christofi is also 19 and plays for Omonoia Nicosia in his native Cyprus. The left-footed forward has only recently joined Omonoia but the club’s president has almost gleefully told the press that they would not stand in the player’s way should an offer come in for him (an offer that triples the £1m they spent on Christofi a month ago of course). Oh, and Arsenal are supposedly interested in both players as well. Can’t be emphasised enough that these are tribalfootball links – worth keeping an eye on though, you never know.

Just one other minor transfer snippet, concerning a former United academy player. David Jones, relegated with Derby last season, is apparently being lined up by Premier League newboys Stoke City for a return to the top division, where he would line-up alongside fellow United academy alumni Ryan Shawcross and Danny Pugh.

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9 Responses to “Reds miss out on two youngsters, allegedly compete with Arsenal for two more”

  1. otariq said

    If a 16 year old pick spurs over Arsenal you must blame the advice of a stupid agent that does not have the player interest at heart but is after the money.

  2. Rob M said

    Hope you don’t mind an Arsenal fan poking their nose in, just wanted to say you know Tribal Football… If they link a player with us and you then either the player’s leg is about to fall off, or they’ve already signed papers with either Real Madrid or Hackney Marshes rovers.

  3. nickogs20 said

    Indeed :D

    Classic lack of quotes in either article as well, standard tribalfootball stuff.

  4. Bryan said

    Who are these guys, why must United be linked with every under 19 player who gets a wiff of the goal post? United isn’t Arsenal, we don’t want to flood our teams with kids, just a few special ones

  5. nickogs20 said

    In 99% of cases we won’t even be interested, but an agent will know that if he can get a story into the press saying United are interested in his client, it puts him in a strong position for new contract negotiations and/or encourages interest from other clubs. Slightly annoying but a small price to pay I guess for being a club of such stature.

  6. Rob Moir said

    Bryan, you have to flood your youth team with kids in the hope of those special ones bubbling up to the top. Your lot didn’t just fall over Ryan Giggs all those years ago, he was very likely part of a very large intake of “talented” kids, of whom only a few made it to your team, a few more went to decent pro careers with smaller clubs and the vast majority, despite being incredibly talented, just couldn’t turn it into pro game

  7. GunnerPete said

    Bryan..sad to say (for U that is) that star kids do not want to join ManU…they know they will be shot out like Rossi and Pique as soon as anothe £28 mill GEM appears on the horizon.

    We at AFC…do not want ever again a a load of ready made posers. Yes they buy you success but our kids have bought us a new stadium that is full every week and a big bank balance that will be even better when the oldHighbury is sold next year.

    Long live the procession of Anelkas, Fabrigas’s, Clichy’s etc. etc.

  8. nickogs20 said

    Star kids don’t want to join United? I assume you missed Davide Petrucci, widely regarded to be the most talented Italian player of his age group, signing for us last week?

    Rossi and Piqué weren’t shot out, they chose to leave – unfortunately for them by the time they got to the stage where they were ready for first-team football, they had world class players in front of them who they weren’t going to displace immediately. We got good money for them, we still have a very young squad with some fantastic young players coming through and we’re champions of England and Europe. Best of both worlds. I’d save the crowing about Arsenal’s way of doing things until it’s actually backed up by some silverware.

  9. Joe Armstong said

    It terms of real facts……..United have had over 450 players feature in the Youth team since the youth competition started in 1952. Of those over 33% have gone to play ion our first team and 69% have had football league careers.

    So yes, many players don’t make the grade but to suggest we have all these players coming through and they don’t ‘make it’ just isn’t true.

    Finally, regardless of all the anecdotal comments, our youth team is the most successful in the history of the british game…..the stats of other teams including West Ham, Arsenal, Chelsea and others are nowhere close.

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