Many fans of the Red Devil’s are expecting, and hoping for, quite a busy summer and an interesting few weeks ahead as Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag continues to reshape Old Trafford in his own image after his first year in charge having arrived from Ajax last summer.
The Dutchman certainly had an eventful opening 12 months – particularly if we remember the Cristiano Ronaldo affair that he admirably dealt with – and whilst there will be bigger headlines this summer on an incoming and outgoing basis, I think it is worth mentioning that one of our Academy products has now departed to truly get his career underway and that is midfielder Zidane Iqbal.
The 20 year old has now completed his move to Eredivisie side FC Utrecht for an undisclosed fee, and subject to international clearance, he has agreed a new four year deal with them and not only was Zidane gloriously thankful for the role we played in his development, it also seems the club themselves have taken delight in his progress – even if it means his immediate future is elsewhere and we let him go so he can achieve his dream.
The young, three capped Iraqi international, initially joined us on pre-Academy programmes and joined properly back when he was a nine year old, but having worked his way through our youth levels, he made his senior debut back in December 2021 in a Champions League clash with Young Boys, where he became the first ever British born South Asian to play for both the club, as well as appear in the Champions League, itself.
The lad clearly enjoyed his time with us as when the move went through and was confirmed he took to Instagram to state.
“From The Cliff to Carrington and then to the Theatre Of Dreams, I have so many incredible memories of my 15 years associated with this amazing club. I have had the opportunity to play with so many team-mates, that I will now always call friends, and worked with coaches who always supported me in so many different ways. There are too many people to thank. They’ve all played their role in making me the player that I am today. They know who they are and know how much they mean to me and my family. We’ll be forever grateful.”
Given the lad goes as far as thanking ‘security staff’, I very much doubt there is anyone who does not wish him the absolute best in his future – and maybe down the line after further development and experience, it might be a name we see again.
Image from: unsplash.com