Manchester United can claim to have the most famous football academy in the world, with the amazing ‘Class of 92’ giving us David Beckham, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs.
Living up to this incredible list of alumni is a near impossible feat and no academy class has even come close since. The United youth programme has been successful, however, in giving the world individuals of brilliance as Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard have all come through the famous Old Trafford youth ranks.
Now, add to this list the name of Josh Harrop. The Stockport native joined United’s youth team back in 2012 as a 16-year-old, and since then has gone on to become a crucial midfield playmaker for various underage side.
An injury affected 2015/16 season hampered his progression towards the first team, so while Rashford got his big break, Harrop remained behind and, until now, unheralded.
However, things may be about to change for the 20-year-old following a preseason friendly with Salford City. Recently rewarded with a two-year contract by United, the attacking midfielder was immense in their 5-1 victory against the aptly named Class of 92’s Salford.
In a game watched by the likes of United legends Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, Harrop excelled with two goals, including this absolute peach of a lob that both Giggs and Scholes would have been proud of.
Video Credit: Manchester United Updates
Receiving the ball on the edge of the area and under pressure from an onrushing defender, Harrop had both the composure to spot the goal keeper off his line and the guile to first nutmeg the defender with a ‘Cruyff Turn’, before deliciously flicking the ball over the keeper in the most nonchalant manner you will ever see. Topping off such a spectacular goal was his immediate ‘mic drop’ jog off.
If ever there was a time to pick a goal from the top shelf, in front of two of the best midfielders ever to play the game for United, then was that time.
With abilities like that, it surely wont be long before yet another Manchester United academy graduate gets his call up to the big time.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena