Tuesday 22 September 2015

Scholes debut set stage for League Cup launchpad

21 years ago yesterday, a small, pint sized, unknown 17 year old midfielder made his United debut in a League Cup tie at Port Vale as part of the Reds youngest ever starting XI.

The Oldham born youngster, going by the name of Paul Scholes, scored twice in a 2-1 win and the rest is history.
As well as kicking off the career of one of the club's greatest ever players, from that moment on the League Cup became the traditional launchpad for many a United success story (David Beckham also made his debut for the Reds in the competition).

For the record, the Reds team that night was: Walsh, G Neville (O'Kane), May, Keane, Irwin; Beckham, Scholes, Butt (Sharpe), Gillespie, Davies and McClair. 

Eight of those XI went on to enjoy success-laden careers at Old Trafford with a staggering amount of titles, medals and trophies between them, so, as the Class of 2015 prepare to kick off this season's League Cup campaign, we take at look at our current crop of youngsters bidding for the big breakthrough.

Jesse Lingard has long been tipped to be the next big thing at Old Trafford and, despite not featuring competitively in the senior side since LVG's very first match in charge, he shone in pre-season after also flourishing at lower league level on loan (you may remember him scoring four on his Birmingham debut as well as a memorable goal in the pre-season win over Barcelona).

We've already had a few glimpses of 19-year old Andreas Peireira, who made his Premier League debut in a 3-0 win over Spurs in March after several appearances on the first team bench, whilst James Wilson has four goals in 14 outings for the senior side after featuring sporadically last term. 

Sean Goss featured on the Tour 2015 to the USA and looks set to be involved against Ipswich, whilst 20 year old stopper Sam Johnstone could play in goal tomorrow having been on the bench earlier this season. 

Neither Goss nor Johnstone have yet to make a breakthrough at senior level, but both went on the USA Tour (and played) and are held in regard by the coaches, so first team recognition does not seem far off. 

Whoever LVG selects to face Ipswich on Wednesday, it will be fascinating to see the undoubtedly talented youngsters being given a chance to shine, and hopefully kick-start a path to glory and glamour at the biggest club in the world.

For inspiration, they need look no further than Messrs Scholes and Beckham. 

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