International breaks often bring about a buzz or excitement surrounding young English forwards – that’s something we’ve seen so often over the years. Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford are prime examples of this.
But every so often, it’s a promising defender who receives all the plaudits, and that’s exactly what’s happened in the latest two fixtures.
A product of Manchester United’s academy, Michael Keane made his senior debut last week against Germany, before keeping his place in England’s latest World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
Things never really went according to plan for the youngster at Old Trafford, although the Red Devils must be wishing they never allowed him to leave for good back in 2015.
Keane was part of United’s 2010-11 FA Youth Cup winning side, playing both games as they defeated Sheffield United 6-3 on aggregate. And that got us thinking – where are his teammates from that day now?
Ladbrokes News takes a look at the starting XI, to see exactly what the once-so-promising bunch are up to today…
GK – Sam Johnstone
Still very much a promising talent, Johnstone is now into his eighth loan spell away from Old Trafford. Clearly the coaching staff see something in the 24-year-old, hence why they’re reluctant to sell him on.
It’s taken him a few games to get going at Aston Villa, but he’s now beginning to find some form for Steve Bruce’s side. Don’t be surprised to see the Villans extend his loan to another year.
DEF – Sean McGinty
McGinty’s time at Old Trafford would make an excellent pub quiz question, but unfortunately for him it’s because he was the last player to have his contract terminated by Sir Alex Ferguson!
He signed for Sheffield United in 2013 but struggled to break into the first-team and now plies his trade in the National League for Torquay United.
DEF – Tom Thorpe
Thorpe’s United future looked bright under Louis van Gaal, who brought him into the first-team and handed the youngster his Premier League debut in a win over West Ham in 2014.
However, he was released less than 12 months later and snapped up by Rotherham United. He’s since been loaned out to Bradford and is currently with Bolton Wanderers. A first-team regular for the Trotters, they could make that deal permanent this summer.
DEF – Michele Fornasier
Despite spending four years with United’s youth team, the Italian never really got close to the first-team, and left England for a return to Italy in 2013.
The 23-year-old signed for Sampdoria before moving to Serie A basement boys Pescara.
MID – Ryan Tunnicliffe
Described as a ‘key performer’ in United’s 2011 FA Youth Cup winning side, Tunnicliffe struggled to break into the senior squad, and instead had to settle for a number of loan moves – all at respectable clubs in the second tier of English football.
He then signed for Fulham where he made his Premier League debut – coincidentally against Man United – in 2014.
Still on the books of the Cottagers, the 24-year-old is currently on loan at Wigan Athletic, where he’s played five times this season.
MID – Jesse Lingard
The first name on this list still at United, Lingard’s career has gone from strength to strength since the FA Youth Cup final.
Scoring the winner in last year’s Emirates FA Cup final and netting in this year’s EFL Cup final, as well as earning four senior England caps, the midfielder is arguably one of the biggest success stories of United’s academy in recent years.
MID – Paul Pogba
Yep. Six years, £89m and several dabs ago, Paul Pogba was an 18-year-old lad trying to burst onto the scene at Old Trafford.
He got his break eventually…
MID – Gyliano van Velzen
Arriving from Ajax in 2010, plenty expected Van Velzen to be a future star. By 2012 he’d signed a professional contract with the Red Devils before being loaned out to Royal Antwerp.
He never came back to England and has been back in the Netherlands ever since. And after spending two years with second tier outfit FC Volendam, he’s secured a move to Eredivisie side Roda JC.
FWD – Will Keane
A name Michael Keane knows all too well!
His twin brother actually scored three goals over the two legs against Sheffield United, and played more games for the first-team than the majority of the players on this list.
In fact, he has five top-flight appearances to his name for United, although most of his time as a professional at Old Trafford was spent with Championship sides on loan.
A permanent move to Hull City was secured in 2016, although the striker was dealt a huge blow after a knee injury ruled him out for a year back in November. We’ll see on his return whether or not United were right to let him go.
FWD – Ravel Morrison
Another tipped for huge things, Morrison’s attitude has perhaps held him back in the early stages of his career. Fergie was reportedly a huge admirer of him as a youngster, and must have been excited at the thought of him joining up with the first-team – especially after scoring a brace in the FA Youth Cup Final second-leg.
With just a couple of appearances to his name in the League Cup, Morrison left United for West Ham in 2012. He was signed as one for the future though, and – like many of these players – was forced to go out on loan to get game-time. That saw him end up at Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff, before Serie A outfit Lazio surprisingly made a move for the forward.
He’s played four times for I Biancocelesti, and is back on loan at QPR trying to rebuild his career.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing