Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes sends message to four youngsters from academy

Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes praised the youngsters. -Credit:MUTV

Bruno Fernandes believes Erik ten Hag showed trust in Ethan Wheatley by handing him a debut for Manchester United against Sheffield United, but he reiterated the other three youngsters on the bench who were unused substitutes are valued and have bright futures ahead.

Wheatley, Harry Amass, Habeeb Ogunneye and Louis Jackson have all featured heavily for the Under-18s this season and they played a youth cup final on Tuesday night.

They played 45 minutes each at Leigh Sports Village and Ten Hag designed that to allow them to play in the final but to also keep them fresh for the first-team squad.

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United's squad has been ravaged by injuries this season and youngsters have regularly supplemented the senior squad, just like at Wembley last weekend.

Wheatley, Amass, Ogunneye and Jackson made the bench for the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday evening and they were in the squad again on Wednesday night, just under 24 hours after helping their junior U18 teammates lift their second trophy of the season.

"It's probably an amazing feeling for him. I've been a kid myself, although I didn't come through an academy to play for the first team like he's doing," Fernandes told MUTV when asked about Wheatley, who made his senior bow against Sheffield United.

"He should be really proud, I hope he had family and friends here today to see it because it's a moment not to forget. It's something he'll always remember.

"I hope for the future he can get more chances if we keep doing the same things because if he got the chance - we can talk about injuries and everything - but it's 'cause the manager trusts him, not just because of the injuries we've had.

"Many of them [the youngsters] have been on the bench and they still haven't had their chance, so if he plays today, it's because the manager has trust in him.

"And even the other ones who are on the bench, we all trust them, we all think they have the qualities to come on, even play in the first XI to give us help.

"I think at the end of the game I got a little too erratic to give him [Wheatley] a goal because, like I said, he's a young kid coming through the academy and I know the moment is massive for him

"Getting a goal in his first appearance would have been massive. I couldn't give the assist, but I tried and at moments rushed it a little bit too much."