Manchester United’s esteemed Carrington academy is always one of the names thrown about when people discuss the topic of which Premier League club has the best youth setup. It is a debate that has raged on for years, and there is no right or wrong answer.

United’s academy has produced some sublime players over the years, from the Busby Babes to the Class of ‘92. Currently, the Red Devils have several academy graduates making waves in their first team, including Marcus Rashford and 2022 FA Youth Cup-winning duo Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho…..CONTINUE READING

Arsenal’s Hale End also boasts some exceptional players. They are responsible for the likes of one of England’s best current talents, Bukayo Saka. The Gunners also produced the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson, who are in their first team at the moment.

Another notable academy is at Cobham, where Chelsea greats such as John Terry were produced, as well as current players Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount, with the latter now at United.

However, one of the country’s best behind-the-scenes talents at the moment was produced by Tottenham’s academy. He is tipped to do big things in professional football, but there have recently been rumours linking him with a move away from the club this summer.
Man Utd target Spurs academy star

Spurs’ exciting young talent, Mikey Moore, made his debut for the Lilywhites’ first team at the back end of last season, but has recently been linked with a transfer during the summer window.

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According to a report from Football Insider, the Red Devils are one of two clubs to make an offer to Spurs to purchase Moore this summer, who can sign his first professional contract next month when he turns 17.

The other interested parties are believed to be United’s bitter rivals, Manchester City, and German giants Borussia Dortmund. The Champions League runners-up believe the teenage sensation is a “huge” talent. He could follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens as young English talents to switch to the Signal Iduna Park.

There is no doubt that Moore is one of the best young talents, not only in England, but in European football. Football talent scout Jacek Kulig described him as the “English Neymar”, and it is clear to see why when looking at his statistics and playstyle.

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Last season for Spurs’ Under-18s side, Moore played 14 times. His record was astounding, scoring 16 goals and registering nine assists. He was rewarded with his Premier League debut, a one-minute cameo against Man City, before playing two minutes in the final game of the season against Sheffield United.

Moore 2023/24 academy season by numbers
Stat U18s Premier League FA Youth Cup
Games 12 2
Minutes 985 161
Goals 14 2
Assists 8 1

 

In terms of Moore’s profile, he is a versatile attacker who can play anywhere across the frontline. He is a slick dribbler, using a low centre of gravity to slalom past defenders, as well as being a superb finisher. David Hytner of The Guardian explained that the youngster is a player who can “quicken the pulse”, especially when he takes on a defender, “gliding past them as if they are not there”.

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This was further evidenced by Harry Brooks, a professional football coach working with academy and senior players, who was recently in conversation with The Athletic. Brooks explained that Moore is a “beautiful close-control dribbler” who is known to be “the go-to guy” when his side is attacking.

Kulig compared him to Neymar for good reason. In fact, you can see a further example of why that is with the goal below, against France at the Under-17 European Championship.

Note the way Moore receives the ball on the half-turn and lets it run across his body before he even takes his first touch. The youngster then bursts into space past three defenders before sharply changing direction. He has lightning-quick feet, which helps him to evade the final defender with a clever dummy, opening up space for a shot which he scored from. It is certainly a goal similar to something Neymar would score in his prime.

The 16-year-old has bags of potential and heaps of expectation around him, although having previously been called “down to earth”, it must not be something he allows to get to his head. It may be no surprise that United are looking to lure the attacker to Old Trafford with his first professional contract.

Moore has all the tools to become one of the all-time great England players, and it is certainly an encouraging start to his young career. Perhaps we will see him rise to the top of football in front of the Stretford End in the coming years.

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