American right-back Matt Olosunde and Mancunian left-back Demetri Mitchell have received their first senior call-ups at Manchester United for the Reds’ Sunday game against Arsenal.
The full-back duo, with Mitchell playing regularly in an unnatural left-back position this season, are joined by under-23 teammates Joel Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Matty Willock.
With Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba also in the squad, that means there are nine Man United academy graduates/players in the travelling squad.
40% of the travelling squad are sourced from the academy, though not all directly (Pogba returning from Juventus while Olosunde was bought from New York Red Bulls last summer).
Mitchell has been playing at left-back all season for the under-23s. Like Olosunde, a right-back, he is more impressive on the attack than when defending.
It’s a deserved call-up for the 20-year-old who has adjusted to a defensive position well. He’s an attacking full-back having played as a winger up until this season when Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s departure on loan meant a position needed filling. He’s quick with good crossing ability, assisting on a number of occasions this season. While playing as a winger, he scored frequently.
Olosunde, meanwhile, is also an attacking full-back. He scored a stunning goal at the Dallas Cup in a 3-1 win against Real Salt Lake, dribbling around three players in the penalty area before nutmegging the goalkeeper, but his defensive positioning has been questioned occasionally.
Both can improve defensively but offer an excellent attacking threat.