How effective is the EFL trophy for Man Utd, Chelsea, Everton and Wolves kids?

Imps 0-1 Man Utd Under 21s

Courtesy Graham Burrell

City – Smith, Toffolo, Bolger, Lewis, Melbourne, O’Connor, Chapman, Grant, Anderson, Hesketh, Akinde (Subs On) Connolly, Payne, Andrade

Man Utd – Kovar; Martinez, Bernard, Mengi, Devine; Levitt, Garner, Traore; Ramazani, Chong, Galbraith (Subs On) Helm, Elanga

HCYP – 53%

FTAP – 53%

Jake Hesketh’s debut hinted at what was to come for City – we looked likely to win the game with a slick passing display but lacked a cutting edge. Ellis Chapman played, his first home start of the season, whilst out-of-favour Jorge Grant came back into the side, having not started since DC’s last game. It was also Max Melbourne’s first home game for City, in a showing which for me typified the competition. Plenty of ‘fringe’ players, putting in a decent shift but coming out on the wrong side of the result, sadly.

Man Utd kids won all of their group matches, but we eliminated in the next round by Tranmere. Some have now gone on to play senior loan football – remember this is just over a year ago so the chances of the players being first team is far less than with Wolves, Everton or Chelsea.

Young keeper Kovar, one of the stars that night, is on loan with Swindon, whilst Di’Shon Bernard is also out on loan with Salford City. We have seen Dylan Levitt this season too, he made his Charlton debut as they were beaten 2-0 at the Bank and he’s played five times for Wales, including the 3-0 defeat against England. Tahith Chong is currently on loan in the Bundesliga, he’s got one goal in seven for Werder Bremen, whilst Largi Ramazani left United in the summer for Almeria. Teden Mengi, Mark Helm, Anthony Elanga and Arnau Martinez are all still with United and played as they hammered Salford City 6-0 earlier in the competition, whilst Ethan Galbraith, Aliou Traore and Reece Devine are also still there but didn’t feature in that game, nor the 0-0 draw with Rochdale at the end of September.

James Garner is on loan in the Championship and of all the players from that night, he impressed the most. He’s played 11 times for Watford, joining after the 6-0 thrashing of Salford City. Interestingly, thanks mainly to the Europa League, 53% of the players who featured against the Imps last season have gone on to appear in Man Utd’s first team, meaning they had the highest number of foreign youngsters but also afforded youngsters the most chances within the first team.