United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Posts Tagged ‘stoke city’

Fergie on the de Laet signing

Posted by nickogs20 on January 9, 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken briefly about the signing of Ritchie de Laet in his press conference today.

“He’s just a young player, we knew him at Antwerp, when we had players over there. It’s not worked out for him at Stoke so we’ve taken him for a short term loan, it’s not a big issue, we’ll see how he does, the boy.”

His comments contradict what was widely reported yesterday with regards to the terms of the deal, which was that it was a permanent deal on a performance-related package, with the player signing a three-year deal. Sir Alex’s comments that the young Belgian is on loan would imply that de Laet may only be with the club until the end of the season, perhaps with an option to sign him at the end of that (which may be when the performance-related transfer deal comes in).

To further confuse things, De Standaard – widely regarded as Belgium’s number one newspaper – has stated (rough translation) “Manchester United are initially taking over Ritchie’s contract with Stoke City until the end of the season”. That would imply a ‘permanent deal’, at least as far as de Laet no longer being a Stoke player goes.

Chances are the full conditions of the deal may take a while to come to light, if indeed they ever do, so we’ll have to play it by ear.

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Sir Alex springs surprise with Stoke swoop

Posted by nickogs20 on January 9, 2009

United have followed up the acquisition of Serbian starlets Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic with a surprise move for Stoke City’s 20 year-old right-back Ritchie de Laet on an initial free transfer.

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Dominant U18s far too good for Potters

Posted by nickogs20 on September 27, 2008

Stoke City Man Utd
Stoke City U18 0-4 Manchester United U18
Ajose 30, 32
Curran 35
Macheda 69

 

The Michelin Sports Ground in Stoke-on-Trent was the venue for a masterful display from Paul McGuinness’ U18 side this morning, the final scoreline of 4-0 barely reflecting the Reds’ superiority over an impressive ninety minutes. Three goals in a clinical five-minute period in the first-half from Nicky Ajose (2) and Chris Curran effectively killed off the game as a contest, Kiko Macheda adding a classy fourth after the break as United cruised to victory.

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U18s set for Stoke clash

Posted by nickogs20 on September 26, 2008

United’s Academy side will make the short journey to Stoke tomorrow morning looking to preserve their unbeaten record in 08/09.

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Lee Martin considering his options; Alumni on the move

Posted by nickogs20 on July 1, 2008

With everyone due back at Carrington for the start of pre-season in the next couple of days, one of the first players to be knocking on the manager’s door will be winger Lee Martin. Martin has effectively spent the last two and a half years out on loan, enjoying spells at Antwerp, Rangers, Stoke City, Plymouth and Sheffield United in that period, and at 21 years old the youngster from Taunton will be keen to find out how he fits into the manager’s plans – if at all.

Martin featured in just nine games for the Bramall Lane club in the second half of last season before succumbing to a knee ligament injury (injuries also curtailed or disrupted his spells at Rangers and Plymouth), but the Yorkshire club’s rumoured interest in recruiting the player on a permanent basis suggests he did enough to impress Blades boss Kevin Blackwell. Should SAF decree that Lee’s future lies away from Old Trafford and were Sheffield United to come in with an offer, would the interest be reciprocated? An interview with the Yorkshire Daily Post would suggest so:

“I’m still at United and it’s a matter of going back on the first of July and speaking to the gaffer. It’s all up in the air and nothing has been said yet. It’s a bit weird and just a waiting game at the minute. I enjoyed my time at Sheffield United and would definitely go back if an offer came in. But it’s out of my hands.”

They definitely have a great chance (of achieving promotion to the Premier League). I think they have got one of the strongest squads in the Championship and with the gaffer, Kevin Blackwell, they’ve got a really talented manager. It’s a massive club which belongs in the Premiership. They know they have to get there next season and after such a strong finish under Kevin they will fancy their chances.”

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Elsewhere, with the transfer window now officially open, a number of former United academy players are on the move. Former Reserves skipper David Jones is the most high-profile, leaving relegated Derby County to join up with former reserves team-mate Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at Wolves in a deal worth £1.2m. Goalkeeper Ben Williams has left Crewe to join Carlisle United (This interview with Radio Cumbria includes some interesting accounts of his time at United), while forward Eddie Johnson has rejoined Crewe on trial after being released by Bradford.

Meanwhile a more recent academy graduate seemingly has clubs fighting to secure his services. Ritchie Jones’ contract with United officially expired yesterday and, as reported here last week, Swindon have offered him the chance to spend pre-season with them. The Wiltshire side face competition for the midfielder’s signing though, with Burnley, Tranmere Rovers and Hearts of the SPL all showing interest.

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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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Congratulations to Ryan Shawcross

Posted by nickogs20 on April 27, 2008

Always nice to see those United academy graduates who don’t make it at Old Trafford go on to forge a great career for themselves elsewhere, so it’s great to see Ryan Shawcross selected in the Championship Team of the Season at tonight’s annual PFA Awards ceremony after a terrific season with promotion-hunting Stoke City. Read the rest of this entry »

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