Thursday, March 30, 2023

Manchester United Keen On Signing Highly-Rated Derby County Youngster: One For The Future?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from the Daily Mail suggest that Manchester United are keen on signing Derby County youngster Malcolm Ebiowei in the upcoming transfer window as Erik Ten Hag looks set to add to his attacking options.

The 18-year-old winger’s contract expires next month, but he hasn’t expressed the desire to pen down a new contract with the Rams after their season ended with relegation to League One following the 21-point deduction. Ebiowei, who has played for both England (U-16) and Holland (U-15) at the youth level, is expected to make a decision on his future soon, with Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle United also interested.

Having come through the academies at Arsenal and Rangers, Ebiowei joined Derby County’s youth setup on September 11, 2021. He spent the first half of the 2021/22 season with Derby’s U-23 side, scoring seven goals in seven appearances. Later, Wayne Rooney chose to promote several talented youngsters (including him) to the senior side in an attempt to emerge victorious in the relegation battle. Although the Rams had a tragic end to the season, the 18-year-old attacker put on some incredible performances to emerge as a key figure in Rooney’s side.

Derby County's Malcolm Ebiowei
Malcolm Ebiowei of Derby County is challenged by Joel Piroe of Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Derby County at Stadium on April 09, 2022 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)
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The number 32 made sixteen appearances during the second half of the season – averaging 1.4 shots, 1.2 key passes, three dribbles, and 0.9 crosses per 90 minutes in the EFL championship. Needless to say, it’s not easy putting up those numbers as a teenager in your debut season, especially under such immense pressure.

“He’s brave, he’s not afraid to take players on, get tackled, and make mistakes.” – Wazza said.

“I thought he was excellent all game. He was the best player on the pitch. It is one of the best performances I have seen from a young player consistently for 90 minutes in a long time and he deserves that because he’s worked so hard. His attitude is incredible and he’s an exciting young player.”

One For The Future?

No matter how good he was last season, it’s almost certain that Manchester United won’t offer him regular minutes in the Premier League or elsewhere, mainly due to his lack of experience at the highest level. He might be sent out on successive loan spells for development, which is typical for someone of his age.

Perhaps, if United end up signing the winger, he’ll be a part of their future plans.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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