Manchester United used their friendly loss to Cadiz to field some of the clubs rising stars.
The Red Devils were beaten 4-2 by La Liga strugglers in a mid-World Cup friendly.
United trailed 2-0 in just 13 minutes at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, and despite drawing thanks to Anthony Martial and Kobbie Mainoo, Cadiz were worthy winners.
The clash, however, gave manager Erik Ten Hag the chance to assess United’s generation of talented teenagers – and every player on the pitch in the second half came from the club’s academy.
Mainoo, along with Marc Jurado, Tyler Fredricson, Sam Murray and Noam Emeran all made their first appearances for the senior team.
Di’Shon Bernard, Charlie Savage, Shola Shoretire and Charlie McNeill were the only young players to have already made their first-team debut.
“They gave energy,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “They run, they fight, maybe not always in the right organization, they make mistakes, they’re not used to playing at this level.
“It was a good lesson and when you make small mistakes they have big consequences and in the end we lose the game.”
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One player who stood out, however, was Manchester-born midfielder Zidane Iqbal.
The 19-year-old, who joined the Red Devils from Sale United in 2012, won the penalty for United’s first goal after a complex one-two with Martial.
His blistering pace and eye for a pass were there to see, and his outstanding performance comes after a series of strong displays in pre-season.
Zidane, who is an attacking midfielder, has already won two senior caps for his country Iraq so far.
He made his United debut in the Champions League draw with Young Boys last year and continues to impress.
Speak on MUTV pundits Paul Woolston and Wes Brown have praised the teenager.
“He tried his luck. He is on a different level at international and club level [now]”Woolston said.
“The manager likes what he sees in him. When he gets his chance, he’s one of the brightest sparks in the first half, he does everything right.
Brown added: “You have to be a special player to break into this position. He had a few chances and he showed a glimpse of what he is capable of.
“He is very young, the manager likes him, with experience we hope he will be even better.
“He understands the game, makes things happen, got the penalty, he sees things on the pitch. He’s definitely one we’ll see a lot more of in the future.
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