3 Manchester United youngsters who could step up if Mourinho doesn’t get his 4th signing

Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he wants to make a fourth signing this summer with a winger high on his agenda. But if Manchester United face frustration in the transfer market, here are four young players ready to step up

By Ryan Baldi, Football Whispers

Manchester United have already spent £150million this summer to bring in Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic as they look to build towards a title challenge.

But manager Jose Mourinho has insisted he would ideally like to add a fourth new arrival to his squad, with a winger being his preference.

Moves for Gareth Bale and Ivan Perisic don’t look like bearing fruit for the Red Devils, meaning the Portuguese coach may have to make do with the players already at his disposal.

However, if Mourinho is intent upon freshening up his attacking options, he might already have some suitable alternatives in his ranks. Our friends at Football Whispers have picked out the three young United hopefuls who could step up to satisfy the manager’s requirements this season.

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Andreas Pereira

Out on loan with struggling Granada last season, 21-year-old Pereira impressed with the La Liga side, who were eventually relegated under former Arsenal captain Tony Adams.

The Belgium-born Brazil youth international demonstrated a tremendous work ethic, fine passing and dribbling technique, creativity and an eye for goals, netting five times for the Spanish side.

Since returning to Old Trafford, the youngster has earned plaudits for his performances on the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of the United States, bagging him a place in Mourinho‘s plans for the 2017/18 campaign.

Comfortable in the centre of midfield, Pereira can also operate on either flank and is capable of swinging dangerous deliveries into the box with either foot. If United don’t manage to sign another wide attacker, the former PSV Eindhoven academy standout could fill the void.

Demetri Mitchell

As one of the youngsters given a senior debut on the final Premier League weekend of last season against Crystal Palace, with United resting key players in anticipation of their Europa League final clash with Ajax, Mitchell stood out at left-back.

The 20-year-old was part of the Red Devils’ pre-season squad for their US Tour but didn’t receive a great deal of game time. He has since rejoined the club’s under-23 side and has continued to impress at that level.

Earlier this week, the gifted left-footer curled a delicious 25-yard free-kick into the top corner to give United a 1-0 win over Leicester City’s under-23s, and his dynamic pace and ability to trouble his opposite number with his skill and technique made him seem a level above every other player on the pitch.

With injuries to Luke Shaw, and Marcos Rojo, and Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian not fully comfortable in the role, Mourinho might be minded to try to the pacy England under-20 international at left-back this season.

The manager has bemoaned a lack of natural width in his squad, hence the pursuit of Perisic. But the option of utilising Mitchell at full-back, who was a originally an academy standout as a forward, could bring a new dimension to the Old Trafford attack.

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Angel Gomes

He doesn’t turn 17 until the end of August, so this season might come a little too soon, but make no mistake: Angel Gomes is destined to be a first-team star for United.

The diminutive attacker made his senior debut against Palace in May, coming off the bench as a late substitute to become the first player born in 2000 to play in the Premier League.

Although he was only on the field for a few minutes, the England youth international, who is the son of journeyman Portuguese professional footballer Gil Gomes, gave the world a glimpse of his immense talent. With a confident swagger he roamed around the final third of the pitch, looking to get on the ball and link with his more senior colleagues whenever possible.

Regarded as the crown jewel of the United academy, there are high hopes inside Old Trafford for young Gomes. Slight in stature, although still growing, his low centre of gravity, phenomenal dribbling skills and eye for a pass and goal has drawn comparisons with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.

Gomes could well be the answer to Mourinho‘s wide attacking problems some day, but it might be in everyone’s interest to wait a little longer for the teenager to develop.

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