Ethan Wheatley becomes 250th academy graduate to make first-team debut for Manchester United

Ethan Wheatley made his debut on Wednesday
Ethan Wheatley made his debut on Wednesday -Credit:2024 Manchester United FC

Ethan Wheatley became the 250th academy graduate to feature for Manchester United's first team after stepping off the bench in the latter stages of the win over Sheffield United.

With his side 4-2 up, manager Erik ten Hag introduced Wheatley from the bench. The youngster replaced Rasmus Hojlund in added time at the end of the game.

Wheatley starred as United's U18s secured a trophy on Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester City.

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The number of academy graduates to play for United at first-team level had been stuck at 249 since Omari Forson made his debut for the club in the latter stages of the 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic back in January. The winger replaced Marcus Rashford with 92 minutes on the clock at the DW Stadium.

"That figure of 249 debutants represents roughly half of the players who have ever played for our great club and it's an incredible statistic," United academy director Nick Cox said, speaking back in January. "As always, it is useful to reflect on Omari's journey so far and take some time to recognise all of the staff that have played an important role in his development.

"It is also important to recognise how each of our players' journeys are unique and often not linear; a principle of which our academy programme is designed."