Man Utd’s academy hits and misses from Beckham and Scholes to Pogba and Lingard in warning for new favourite Tuanzabe

AXEL TUANZEBE is the latest youngster to break out of the Manchester United academy and set fans' tongues wagging.

The talented defender, 22, has captained United at every stage through the youth ranks.

Tuanzebe has even skippered the senior squad – in the Carabao Cup win over Rochdale last season.

Most-recently, the centre-back returned from a ten-month injury lay-off to excel in the 2-1 Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain.

Tuanzebe kept Kylian Mbappe extraordinarily quiet, which is no easy feat, to earn rave reviews.

Now, 83 per cent of fans want Tuanzebe to keep Harry Maguire out of the starting XI for the Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday.

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But history has taught us while some go on to become mega-stars, others fade into mediocrity in a stark warning to the 22-year-old defender.

We take a look at the hits, the misses and those who have split the jury in the Premier League era…


Class of 92

THE most obvious 'hits' in football history, the Class of 92 propelled United to the most-successful era in the club's history.

David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville all helped Sir Alex Ferguson to win trophy after trophy.

Giggs would go on to win 13 Premier League crowns, four FA Cups and two Champions League titles.

Beckham would go on to play for Real Madrid and blaze a trail by playing in the MLS – all the while developing the incredible 'Beckham' brand.

All of the Class of 92 would go on to play for England – or Wales in Giggs' case – and enjoy trophy-laden careers.

Since retiring, some of gone into management and coaching, while others are now-famous for their punditry.

Marcus Rashford

ONE of United's most-recent success stories, Rashford burst onto the scene by scoring twice in the 5-1 Europa League win over Midtjylland in 2016.

The striker – now an MBE for his incredible work off the pitch – wasn't even meant to play in the game but for a last-minute injury to Anthony Martial.

Rashford – in the United youth ranks since the age of seven – has since gone on to become one of the first names on both Man Utd and England's team-sheets.

Scott McTominay

ANOTHER near-ever present in a talented Man Utd midfield, McTominay is even keeping Paul Pogba out of the team these days.

The Scottish star made his debut in May 2017 under Jose Mourinho and has gone on to become a reliable presence in the team.

Just last year, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he wanted to build his team for the future around McTominay – although, that was before the arrival of Bruno Fernandes.

Darren Fletcher

FLETCHER is one of those criminally-underrated players, having won five Premier League titles in 12 seasons at the club.

For the latter years of his career, the Scot was even battling bowel disease chronic ulcerative colitis.

All-in-all, Fletcher still managed to make 342 appearances for the club – also helping to win the 2008 Champions League final.

Wes Brown

MUCH like Fletcher, Brown is often underrated by fans.

But most of that will be down to the fact he was tasked with filling the massive shoes left by the likes of Gary Neville…

Brown played nearly 400 times across 14 seasons at the club before joining Sunderland in 2011.

The defender even managed 23 England caps.


Ravel Morrison

RIO FERDINAND once revealed Fergie claimed Morrison 'was the best player he had seen at that age'.

Morrison never played in the league for United, reduced to just three League Cup appearances.

Since then, the midfielder has bounced around a host of clubs, from Lazio and Sheffield United to Atlas, Ostersunds and now ADO Den Haag in Holland.

But despite making his senior debut ten years ago, Morrison has been limited to just 105 league matches across the globe.

Lazio director Igle Tare summed him up the best, once stating: "He has undoubted quality and is world-class, as well as being a little mad."

Adnan Januzaj

THE Belgian burst onto the scene under David Moyes in 2013 – with fans believing they had a new superstar on their hands.

But Januzaj's form quickly plummeted and he was shipped off to Borussia Dortmund and then Sunderland on loan – failing to score at either club.

He joined Real Sociedad in 2017 with his only claim to fame in recent years his strike against England at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – to this day, still his only international goal.

Tom Cleverley

THE ex-England star was once singled-out as the obvious replacement for Scholes by Ferguson.

But Cleverley never even came close to filling Scholes' boots and after four loan spells away was sold to Everton in 2015.

He's now at Championship side Watford.

Danny Simpson

AFTER working his way through the youth ranks, Simpson dipped his toe into the water in 2007-08, making eight appearances for Uniteed in all competitions.

But after five loan spells away – and no further appearances – Simpson was sold to Newcastle in 2010.

Simpson would later go on to be a key cog in the Leicester machine which won the 2015-16 Premier League title.

But in terms of his United career, he goes into the flop pile…

Simpson is currently a free agent after leaving Huddersfield in the summer.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

THE full-back made ten Premier League appearances in the 2015-16 season, with his future seemingly bright.

But he was loaned out FIVE times after that, and is now at League Two side Oldham after completing a permanent move this summer.


Paul Pogba

POGBA is an interesting one.

He worked his way through the youth ranks at United before opting to quit and join Juventus.

Ferguson accused Pogba of showing a lack of respect – as the Frenchman would go on to become arguably the best midfielder on the planet for a short time in Italy.

His red-hot form saw him become the most-expensive player on the planet as Man Utd brought him back in an £89m deal.

But since then, Pogba's attitude has irked fans, while his on-field performances have been a million miles away from his Juventus days.

Pogba has repeatedly stated his desire to quit – alas, with no takers…

It's hard to call him a miss, but he's also not a hit – we'll give him until the end of the season to make our minds up.

Jesse Lingard

A HERO of the 2018 World Cup, late-bloomer Lingard appeared to have finally found his feet.

However, Lingard has struggled to recreate his 2018 England form for his club, leaving fans frustrated.

His United career appears to be over, struggling to get a look-in under Solskjaer – having only featured in the two Carabao Cup wins so far this season.

Lingard certainly has the talent – but can he prove he deserves to be called an academy 'hit' in time?

Axel Tuanzebe

AND finally, there's new flavour-of-the-month Tuanzebe…

The defender actually made his debut in 2015, but has seen his United game-time limited following two loan stints at Aston Villa and some nasty injuries.

Tuanzebe shone against PSG – and he will now be eager to prove that was no flash in the pan as the season rages on.

With United's defence as shabby as it is, he may never get a better chance to prove his worth.

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