What next for every Man Utd young player of the year winner from 2000, including Macheda, Rashford and Greenwood – The Sun

MANCHESTER United have always had a rich history of promoting from within.

From the Busby Babes to the Class of '92, the Red Devils regularly feature a homegrown talent gracing their first team line-up.

Some of those, like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in the past, have won the coveted Jimmy Murphy award – otherwise known as Manchester United's young player of the year – and gone on to become club legends.

But others, not so much. Here's the definitive list of those since the year 2000 who were tipped for the top.


The first winner for the turn of the century, the Swedish youth international only played once for the club.

After struggling for first team opportunities, he enjoyed several loans to clubs including Sheffield Wednesday and Red Star Belgrade.

Djordjic enjoyed his best form at Plymouth Argyle between 2005-07, before retiring in 2015.

2000-2001: ALAN TATE

Manchester United's loss was Swansea's gain.

The towering centre back never made the grade under Sir Alex Ferguson, but when he moved to Wales he became a club legend for the Swans.

Tate played across all four divisions in 11 years, before retiring in 2016 after a season at Port Talbot Town.

Now, aged 37, he's an assistant first team and academy coach back at Swansea.

2001-2002: PAUL TIERNEY

In the early noughties there was a real buzz about Tierney being the successor to the legendary Denis Irwin.

Capped at U21 level by Republic of Ireland, the left back played for United just once in a league cup tie against West Brom in 2003.

He left United to play for Livingston in 2005, and also played at Blackpool and Stockport County.

His last club was Altrincham in 2009.

2002-2003: BEN COLLETT

The midfielder was an "A-Class footballer", according to Fergie which makes this story even more tragic.

A week after starring for United's Youth Cup-winning team, Collett was handed a start in a reserve game against Middlesbrough.

Following a tackle with Gary Smith, he broke his leg in two places and was eventually forced to retire after trying to kick-start his career in New Zealand and Holland. He received over £4million in compensation later for that career-ending tackle.


The former USA international impressed United scouts in 2003 and was signed from Chicago Fire as a 17-year-old.

Spector, now 34, played seven times for the Red Devils before moves to West Ham and then Birmingham City helped solidify his name as a seasoned pro in England's top two divisions.

He retired after a season at Hibs in 2019, and currently works in a recruitment role with Atlanta United in the MLS.


The American-born striker who represents Italy was plucked from Parma in 2004, and in his first season was United's most promising youth player.

In 14 first team games he managed four goals, but found his path blocked by the likes of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He left Manchester for Spain and excelled at Villarreal and then Fiorentina, but knee injuries hampered his progress.

Now 33, he's back in the MLS playing for Real Salt Lake.

2005-2006: DARRON GIBSON

Fergie called him 'The new Scholes' after scoring against Bayern Munich, and the midfielder appeared to have the talent to become a future star.

He left for Everton in 2012 after playing 60 times for the club, but suffered with injuries.

In 2017 he reunited with David Moyes at Sunderland, but was later released after suffering the off-the-field issues.

Gibson recently tried to rebuild his career at Salford City, who just let him go to.


In 2007, the commanding centre back was tipped for first team football.

However, a season-ending knee injury put pay to him ever making his debut for United.

The Northern Irishman, 31, rebuilt his career at Blackpool and is now a Watford regular in the Premier League.

2007-2008: DANNY WELBECK

It was a career that promised so much when he burst onto the scene with a wonder goal against Stoke on his Premier League debut.

Fergie rated him and saw him as a valuable squad player.

However, when Louis Van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford he was surplus to requirements and sold to rivals Arsenal.

He scored 32 goals for the Gunners in 126 games, but was sold to Watford after recovering from a serious knee injury.


The Italian former wonderkid was once touted as the 'Next Ronaldo'.

A stunning last-minute goal against Aston Villa helped enhanced his reputation in a dramatic 3-2 win that helped United eventually win the Premier League.

But the burden of expectation was too much, and he eventually left for Cardiff and it seemed his career was petering out at Nottingham Forest and lowly Italian club Novara.

However, at Panathinaikos – at the age of 28 – he's rediscovered his form and appears to be back to his lethal best.

2009-2010: WILL KEANE

Still only 27, Keane was expected to have a brilliant career at Old Trafford.

He scored 13 goals in 26 U18 games the year he won the Jimmy Murphy award, making his debut for the first team in 2011.

Keane returned to the fold five years later, but was sold to Hull in 2016.

Currently playing for Ipswich Town in League One, he's a free agent at the end of this season.


Tunnicliffe was highly thought of at Old Trafford.

He played alongside Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison in midfield for the 2011 FA Youth Cup winning team.

He was restricted to two first team appearances in the League Cup, before signing for Fulham in 2014.

The 27-year-old is now a regular for Luton Town in the Championship.


Many United fans might be shouting 'Who?' at their screens right now – and rightly so.

A talented Norwegian playmaker, Daehli left Old Trafford without playing a first team game and joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde in 2013.

Solskjaer brought Daehli to Cardiff City, but he moved to Germany when the Bluebirds went down.

Now. at 25, he's turning out for KRC Genk.

2012-2013: BEN PEARSON

A centre midfielder with an eye for goal, Pearson beat Adnan Januzaj to the award in 2013.

However, he wasn't able to force his way into the first team like his former team-mate at youth level.

Pearson went on loan to Barnsley and impressed, before signing for Preston in 2016.

He's thought of as one of the best midfielders outside the Premier League.

2013-2014: JAMES WILSON

Handed a Premier League debut by former Jimmy Murphy award winner Ryan Giggs during his spell as United manager, Wilson appeared a star.

Two goals against Hull had Red Devils fans purring about the teenage sensation.

After loan spells at Brighton, Derby and Sheffield United, he moved permanently to Aberdeen in 2019.

He is now with Salford City.

2014-2015: AXEL TUANZEBE

Now a part of the squad, centre back Tuanzebe made his debut against Arsenal in 2016.

Two successful spells at Aston Villa in the Championship established his credentials as a promising defender.

This season he captained United in the League Cup against Rochdale, and has made 10 appearances in all competitions.


Without doubt, the best player to emerge from United's youth set-up in the last 20 years.

The 22-year-old forward has played 201 times for the club since his debut against FC Midtjylland in 2016, a game in which he scored a brace.

This season he has enjoyed his most profitable in front of goal – with 19 goals in 31 games in all competitions.

2016-17: ANGEL GOMES

The godson of ex-Manchester United winger Nani, Gomes was the youngest player to score a hat-trick at academy level since 2001 – aged jut 15 years old.

The Londoner, who has captained England at U16, U17 and U18 levels, made his debut in 2017, replacing Wayne Rooney.

This season the 19-year-old has played six times for the club.


A promising winger, Chong recently committed his future to the club by signing a long-term contract, following speculation he might be seeking pastures new.

The Dutch youth star, who has continued to impress with the youth team, is on the verge of first team action.

He's played 11 times in all competitions this season, and at 20 appears to have a great future ahead of him.


A real shining light on United's season, the emergence of Greenwood was predicted by Solskjaer, who called him the best finisher at the club and compared him to Robin Van Persie.

The Bradford-born 18-year-old has since grabbed his opportunity with both hands when handed a first team chance – making history by becoming the club's youngest ever European scorer when he netted against Astana.

Greenwood already has 12 goals to his name, and there's definitely more to come from the brilliant striker.

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