Prolific strike duo pen new Man Utd contracts; keeper also signs up

Date published: Monday 26th July 2021 10:21 - Rob McCarthy

Manchester United have handed new contracts to three young talents, with forwards Joe Hugill, Charlie McNeill and goalkeeper Paul Woolston all extending their Old Trafford stays.

Hugill and McNeill have both proved to be prolific strikers in the academy set-up and will be hoping for first-team opportunities under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next season. The duo have penned long-term deals with the Red Devils.

Goalkeeper Woolston has signed just a one-year contract, but the 22-year old is delighted to extend his stay.

“Over the moon to have the chance to spend one more year at Man United,” wrote Woolston in a tweet. “Thanks to everyone, especially my family for giving me the opportunities to reach this stage of my career. The hard work never stops.”

Hugill has so far been involved with the first team in pre-season, coming off the bench in the friendlies against Derby and QPR.

He wrote: “Perfect way to end a great week. Thanks to everyone who helped me in my first year with @ManUtd , a very proud moment for me and my family. The hard work doesn’t stop now.”

The 17-year-old arrived from Sunderland last year and scored six in his first six games for United’s Under-18 side. He then netted 10 times for the Under-23s in Premier League 2.

McNeill, who is also 17, returned to United from rivals Manchester City last year. He has developed into a goalscoring machine, with 25 goals in just 23 appearances for the Under-18s last campaign.

However, both McNeill and Woolston have not been with the first team during pre-season, training with academy squad in Edinburgh instead.

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Sancho unveil delay revealed

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly turned down Jadon Sancho’s request to wear the No.7 shirt at Manchester United, which caused the delay in his unveiling at Old Trafford.

The England winger completed his £73m transfer from Borussia Dortmund on Friday, after one of the longest-running transfer sagas of modern times finally came to a close. The transfer was struck during Euro 2020, but the deal was not officially announced until last week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jadon Sancho (pic via Manchester United)

And now the Daily Mail reports that the delay in confirming his arrival was due to the 21-year-old’s desire to wear the no.7 shirt he had at Dortmund – which is currently occupied by Edinson Cavani.

The report states that Solskjaer would not grant his request, leaving Sancho to take 25 instead, on the basis that 2+5=7.

All seems a little petty in the grand scheme of things. However, one thing for sure is that Solskjaer knows he has a top talent on his hands.

Speaking after United’s 4-2 friendly defeat to QPR last weekend, he said of the transfer: “It’s a big statement.

“We’ve followed him for a long, long time. He’s a forward with creativity, flair and individual skills. He’s got years ahead of him.

“It shows the fans we mean business. We’ve got one of the best forwards in England for the next 10, 12 years.

“We’ve got Marcus [Rashford] who’s 23 and Mason [Greenwood] who’s a young lad so we’ve got an English core there. The forward line is looking really good.”

READ MORE: Report reveals fee and medical details as Raphael Varane ‘completes’ Man Utd switch

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