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Nicky Butt challenges Man Utd academy graduates to score more goals

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After establishing themselves in the first team, Head of Manchester United first-team development Nicky Butt has asked Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to now score few goals as well.

Butt is happy with how Man Utd academy graduates are playing for the first team right now and he wants these three players to continue to show improvement in their games.

Speaking to United Review, Butt said:

I’ve been impressed. We’ve had so many going in and doing well in different parts. Scott has now become established, even though he’s still a very young player. He’s doing really well. Axel [Tuanzebe] has come in and done really well when he’s had his chances. Andreas is playing consistently and there’s still more to come from him.

Butt praised McTominay for his consistent performance for the Red Devils under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and challenged him to add the goals as he was known for them at the youth level.

Scott’s now trying to develop his game into the player he was in the younger teams, when he scored goals, got into the box and dominated, Butt explained.

He has embedded himself into the squad now and he’s become one of the first names on the team sheet. He’s done that bit, which is hard: settling in, not making too many mistakes, keeping it simple. Now the next step is getting back to being a box-to-box midfielder, getting goals, stopping goals at the other end.

Pereira, on the other hand, had a bit of wobbly start of the season but scored a welcome goal against Brighton nevertheless, needs to use that strike as an inspiration to become more of a threat in front of goal, Butt says.

He said:

Andreas will now want to be playing like we all know he can – scoring goals, creating goals – and you’ve got the other ones who will be trying to get as many minutes as they can in the first team.

Butt also discussed Axel Tuanzebe, who is currently injured, saying the defender first needs to establish himself in the starting XI before focussing on improving his game.

Axel’s different because he’s in-between both of them, Butt conceded. He’s got to cement down his position, take his chances with both hands and not give the manager a chance to drop him.

Below the trio of McTominay, Pereira and Tuanzebe are the likes of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Brandon Williams, who Butt says should look up to their former academy teammates.


Sheetanshu is a computer science engineer, an MBA and an ardent soccer fan. He founded Limit Infinity back in 2015 with a group of few friends and has played a significant role in establishing soccer fan communities around the world. You can write to him at or connect with him using his LinkedIn profile.

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