Every academy graduate Man United have sold in the past five years and how they're getting on

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Manchester United’s famous academy has produced some fine talents over the years.

David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville all came through the youth team to become Premier League winners with the Red Devils.

Today, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood are doing an exemplary job of highlighting the success of United’s academy system.

But not everyone that comes through makes the grade.

Competition for places is extreme at Old Trafford and some don’t enjoy the same fortunes as the aforementioned names.

United have allowed 23 academy products to leave over the past five years and Planet Football have taken a look at what’s happened to each of them since departing.

Tom Lawrence

Ryan Giggs handed midfielder Tom Lawrence his debut in 2014 but he left for Leicester City just a few weeks later.

Lawrence failed to stand out at the Foxes, playing four times in three years and being loaned out to four different clubs, and joined Derby County for £7 million in 2017.

The Wales international pleaded guilty to drink driving last October.

Danny Welbeck

Welbeck wasn’t given much of a chance under Louis van Gaal and he was sold to Arsenal in September 2014.

The forward won the 2017 FA Cup with the Gunners but his five years at the Emirates Stadium were plagued by injuries.

Watford signed Welbeck upon the expiration of his Arsenal contract last summer, but he’s managed just six appearances for the Hornets this season.

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Marnick Vermijl

Vermijl played in the humiliating 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the League Cup in 2014.

That was his second - and final - appearance for United’s first team.

The defender dropped down to the Football League with Sheffield Wednesday and Preston and signed for Dutch second-tier side MVV Maastricht last year.

Michael Keane

The MK Dons defeat was also Keane’s final game in a Man United shirt.

He joined Burnley in September 2014 on loan but the Clarets made it a permanent deal the following January.

Keane secured a £30 million move to Everton after three seasons with Burnley and is now an England international.

Liam Grimshaw

Grimshaw never got a chance to play for United’s first team, joining Preston in 2016.

He was released from his contract the following year and was snapped up by Motherwell, where he’s a regular in the team.

Ben Pearson

Pearson was a standout in Man United’s youth sides, winning the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award in 2012/13.

Despite that, he never made a first team appearance for the club and signed for Preston in 2016, where he has proven to be a fine midfielder.

Jonny Evans

In retrospect, Louis van Gaal’s decision to sell Evans in 2015 wasn’t a good one.

He joined West Brom and is now starring at Leicester City, where he’s formed one of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League alongside Caglar Soyuncu.

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Reece James

Not the Reece James you’re thinking about.

James was taken on Man United’s pre-season tour of the United States ahead of the 2014/15 season, where he scored twice in a 7-0 win over LA Galaxy.

But he never made a senior team appearance and was sold to Wigan in the summer of 2015.

The 26-year-old defender now finds himself playing for League One outfit Doncaster Rovers following one season with Sunderland.

Angelo Henriquez

There was a bit of hype when Man United signed Henriquez from Univesidad de Chile in 2012 but he failed to deliver and was sold in 2015 without playing a single minute for the first team.

The striker, who was loaned out to Wigan, Real Zaragoza and Dinano Zagreb during his United career, joined Zagreb permanently in 2015 but has since returned to Universidad de Chile.

Tyler Blackett

An injury crisis and the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic afforded Blackett an opportunity in the first team at the start of the 2014/15 season, making his competitive debut for the club in the opening game of the campaign.

The defender managed a total of 12 appearances in the season but United weren’t convinced and loaned him out to Celtic in August 2015.

He was unsuccessful in Scotland and signed for Reading in 2016, where he remains to this day.

Will Keane

Keane scored regularly for Man United’s reserves but his career took a hit when he suffered a knee ligament injury in May 2012 which kept him out for the entire 2012/13 season.

The forward hasn’t been lucky with injuries and currently finds himself playing for Ipswich Town in League One.

James Weir

Weir’s one and only appearance for the Red Devils came as a substitute against Arsenal in 2016.

He signed for Hull City at the end of that season but was released at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Weir signed a one-year deal with Bolton Wanderers in August 2019 but his contract was terminated by mutual consent last month after being called out by his manager.

Sean Goss

Goss outgrew youth football and, while there was talk of him signing a new deal to stay at Old Trafford, he decided to join QPR in 2017 to get first-team football.

He found that hard to come by at Loftus Road and, following loan spells in Scotland with Rangers and St Johnstone, joined League One side Shrewsbury Town for the 2019/20 season.

Donald Love

Love was recently in the news for scoring an own goal while playing for Shrewsbury Town in their FA Cup contest against Liverpool.

He found his way to Meadow Lane after leaving Sunderland in July 2019.

The defender joined the Black Cats in 2016 after managing just two appearances for United’s first team.

Paddy McNair

Louis van Gaal suggested McNair could be United’s first-choice right-back for 10 years but that wasn’t to be the case.

He left Old Trafford for Sunderland in 2016 and spent two seasons at the Stadium of Light before joining Middlesbrough, where he is a regular in the starting line-up.

Tyler Reid

Reid joined Man United’s academy from Arsenal as a 14-year-old in 2012.

He departed for Swansea City four years later and was signed by Swindon Town in 2019.

Reid is currently on loan at Wrexham.

Guillermo Varela

David Moyes’ first signing lasted longer than the Scot did at Old Trafford and even made 11 appearances in the 2015/16 season.

He was loaned out to Eintracht Frankfurt for the following campaign but angered the German club after getting a tattoo against their advice.

The defender returned to his native Uruguay to play for Penarol before joining FC Copenhagen in 2018.

Adnan Januzaj

Ah, what could have been.

Januzaj was tipped for big things amid his breakthrough 2013/14 season, in which he made 35 appearances in all competitions.

But neither Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho was convinced by the Belgian winger and, following loan spells with Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, he was sold to Real Sociedad in 2017.

“I didn’t really get a chance because at the time he [Mourinho] probably wanted more experienced players with names,” Januzaj told Sky Sports News.

“I always knew I had the quality to play for Manchester United. I know what I am capable of.”

Januzaj has revitalised his career in Spain and it seems he’s still capable of producing exciting moments every now and then.

Josh Harrop

Harrop only made one appearance for United but it was a memorable one.

He scored in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign.

The attacker rejected a contract offer from his boyhood club and has played for Preston North End since 2017.

Ro-Shaun Williams

Another former Man United defender who recently scored an own goal against Liverpool. Strange.

Williams regularly captained the Under 23s and even made the first team bench on two occasions under Van Gaal.

The 21-year-old left for Shrewsbury in January 2019 and has established himself as a regular for the League One outfit, although that own goal in the FA Cup fourth round defeat to Liverpool was a moment to forget.

Sam Johnstone

Johnstone won the FA Youth Cup in 2011 alongside Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard but, as a goalkeeper, finding a way into the first team proved impossible with David de Gea and Sergio Romero ahead of him in the pecking order.

The ‘keeper was sent out on loan to seven different clubs in the Football League and eventually joined West Brom in 2018.

The Baggies’ No.1, there’s every chance we’ll be seeing Johnstone in the Premier League next season.

Lee O’Connor

As you’ve seen, a number of players decided to leave Man United in pursuit of first-team action and that was no different for Lee O’Connor.

He failed to break into the senior squad and left for Celtic last year.

“It was a tough decision to leave, but at the end of the day, it has to be purely about football and what’s best for my career and I think I made the right decision,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor was sent out on loan to Partick Thistle last month.

Nishan Burkart

Burkart impressed for United’s Under 23s last season, netting six times in 12 starts.

However, he joined SC Freiburg for an undisclosed fee in the summer.

The Swiss striker has one goal in 14 games for the club.

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There's perhaps only one player on the list who Man United may be having second thoughts over allowing to leave and that's Evans.

But even so, a major loss? Not really.

Januzaj was a fine talent and the club would love to have seen him develop into something similar to Ryan Giggs but it wasn't to be.

Welbeck has proven himself to be a Premier League-calibre player but again, he wasn't the level that Man United are looking for.

These players all got a high-class education at the Red Devils' famed academy but only the cream of the cream make it.

Unless you're Jesse Lingard.

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