This is the third post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and /u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. The previous posts include #10, Joe Riley,and #9, Demetri Mitchell.
Tosin Kehinde was a player that I have been eagerly waiting to put on this list. He would have made it last year but unfortunately for him he had Visa issues and was unable to play. On top of that he had a back injury that would kept him out of the 14/15 season regardless of paperwork. He made his u21 debut at the age of 16 a couple of seasons ago against Wolves. The thing that I like the most about him is his quick feet and a low center of gravity. I would say that his best position is in the middle of the pitch but he has been used as a wide midfielder occasionally. He is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and is excellent at picking a pass out. I would say after a clearing out at the u21 level (Pearson likely gone, Rothwell also seemingly not in the picture any more) in midfield his number will get a permanent call up by Warren Joyce. I think he would make a good midfield pairing with the next person on the list… /u/monsieurryan
Tosin Kehinde is definitely one of the most interesting prospects coming through the ranks this year. Quick feet, good vision, good at passing combinations and has the trickery to beat a man if necessary. The latter has become a more prominent facet to his play in the past few months. As a player on the pitch, he could have you fooled; he reminds me a lot of Larnell Cole. For those of you who kept an eye on the Manchester United academy in the past few years, I am sure you will agree. He carries the ball in a similar way to ex-red Cole, and it is a joy to watch. Tosin’s expertise, however, is not the same as was the case with Cole. This is probably most accurately illustrated in how he finds positions deep in the pitch to receive and distribute play. His sense of where to be, and where to deliver the ball is disproportionately higher than with most players his age. In many ways, I would not blame you if you thought he came out of the academy of a Spanish or Italian team.
As a player, he is surprisingly good at winning the ball for someone with the vision, technique, and passing ability he possesses. He is an overall spirited and quick player that covers the necessary ground – all though he is usually placed correctly according to which phase and situation the team is in, and does not need to use this pace a lot. Physically, Tosin Kehinde is probably best suited to play where he currently is: in defensive midfield. He is fast, has a good engine for a 17 year old and alongside his vision and position skills; a very good strike on the ball.
In the coming months and years, it will be exciting to see whether Tosin Kehinde is urged to specialise his style towards this ball-winning and re-distributing role, or if he improves enough going forward that he can become a box-to-box midfielder. My personal opinion is that he has a lot of potential for both roles. Seeing as his technical ability and vision is already at a high level, I think the management will want to try him as a two-way midfielder sooner rather than later. Having someone that is able to break up play, distribute and push on forward would make the youth-team that much more difficult to play against. It would also fit the bill of a more modern style midfielder that is much sought after both in English – but also European football in general. I generally expect him to strive to claim a key role in the team for our reserves this year, all though it might be a bit early. It is too early to start thinking about loans or first team promotion, but if he continues his progress, I am certain he’ll be among those 4-5 players that are in contention of that in a few years.