Having made his name as a member of Manchester United’s imperious and much celebrated class of 92, Nicky Butt returned to the talent factory that honed him earlier this year, taking on the role of Head of Academy.
It can be assumed that the 41-year-old former midfielder has an eye for quality, and so anticipation surrounds the news that four summer youth signings have already been completed, without announcement, as United seek to bolster their formidably efficient youth set up.
Perhaps this is a response to their East Manchester rivals City putting so much effort into soft soaping the press at their brand spanking new, hugely expensive youth facilities, or more likely it’s simply the academy continuing to operate with the confidence and intuition it is famous for.
The first name to keep an eye on is Kacper Chorazka, a 17-year-old Polish goalkeeper, who moves from Wisla Krakow having had trials with Glasgow Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur.
Nishan Burkart is a 17-year-old Swiss striker who will be joining from FC Zurich at the end of the season. With United having parted not so long ago with goalscorers like Van Persie, Hernandez, Welbeck and Falcao, the Switzerland under-16 international may well look at the faith invested this season in 18-year-old local lad Marcus Rashford, and fancy his own chances of being given a break in the first team.
The third exciting prospect coming in is Tahith Chong, a versatile 16-year-old who appears comfortable up front, in a wide position, and in midfield. The optimisitc Dutch hopeful joins from Feyenoord.
The youngest of the four new signings is 15-year-old Lee O’Connor, who captains the Ireland under-16 side and plays in defence. He joins from Villa FC in Ireland, where former United player John O’Shea long ago cajoled the scouts.