Manchester United academy coach Paul McGuiness has tipped a pair of young starlets to make the step up next season.
Duo Liam Grimshaw and Paddy McNair, both 18, played an integral role in the club’s under-18 set up last season.
Grimshaw, a full-back by trade, and McNair, known as a talented midfielder, spent much of last term playing together in the centre of defence due to injuries.
McGuiness is encouraged by their progress, and expects both players to play a more significant role in coming seasons.
The under-18s coach praised Grimshaw’s versatility, saying he’s got the qualities to perform in a number of positions.
Paul McGuiness told ManUtd.com: “I think Liam Grimshaw is one of these players who might be very useful to a squad as he can play in a number of positions.
“He could be very vital to a squad. Maybe a bit like John O’Shea or Phil Neville, he could be able to do all those roles and the reason he can do it is because he’s got a fantastic mentality.”
Meanwhile McGuiness has warned that McNair, a diminutive midfielder from Northern Ireland, needs to develop in the next couple of years if he is to make the step up.
The player, who has been praised for being comfortable on the ball, will be tested next season as he’ll be coming up against older players.
McGuiness added: “I was talking to Paddy McNair recently for the reviews at the end of the season. It’s nice to be able to say with him maybe you can play centre-midfield like a Michael Carrick role at the back.
“For someone like him, he has always been behind in his own age group so we had to play him down an age group.
“We kept doing that every age until now he gets to Under-19 and Under-21 and obviously he’s going to be playing against people two or three years older than him. He can’t go down an age group again as it’s against the rules.”
Picture courtesy of Xavoun, with thanks.