Erik ten Hag is the favorites’ to make Monday night’s first team debut count 250 for Manchester United academy graduates.
Prior to the 2022–2023 season, Ten Hag assumed managerial duties, and the total stood at 245. The former Ajax manager then granted Kobbie Mainoo his senior debut in February, and this season, he has given Willy Kambwala and Dan Gore minutes.
The next in line might be Rhys Bennett and Joe Hugill. A taste of senior competitive action may be given to both players for the first time during the cup match, since they have both been listed among United’s substitutes in recent weeks.
After joining United’s academy from Sunderland in 2020, Hugill, a 20-year-old striker, has scored seven goals in nine Premier League 2 games this season. Hugill did not play during the first team’s victory over Everton in November. The 20-year-old Bennett has participated in the last five league games for United’s under-21 team. He was benched for the team’s defeat against West Ham, when fellow defender Kambwala made his debut.
According to the Manchester Evening News, if the game is “boxed off” early on, opportunities for young players may present themselves. But prior to Bruno Fernandes’ penalty at Wembley last season, United had only scored one goal in the first half on their way to the FA Cup final.
In the third round, Antony scored the winning goal in the fourth minute, leading to a 3-1 victory. United defeated Brighton on penalties in the semifinal after a goalless draw. Prior to that, United had won by the same score against Reading, West Ham, and Fulham in the previous rounds, with none of their goals occurring before minute 54.
In the 2017 FA Cup fourth round, United easily defeated Wigan in their last meeting. This is United’s opponent Wigan on Monday. But even so, there was still no goal until Henrik Mkhitaryan’s goal at the end of the half.
Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro are two players who most surely won’t be involved at the DW Stadium. Both men are still a long way from making a comeback after their time on the treatment table.
“They are a long time already back on the grass and now they return back into team training but not fully, so partial,” Ten Hag told the press. “Now they have to make the next steps and that may take some days, I think even weeks.”
“They are two exceptional players who will lead the team to success.” We are eager for them to rejoin the team on matchdays given that we are aware of this.”