What happened to Man Utd’s 2011 FA Youth Cup winners – Record transfers and forgotten men

Man Utd’s latest youth stars could deliver the FA Youth Cup against Nottingham Forest as they aim to replicate the achievements of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and co

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Man Utd’s worst ever Premier League season

Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup team of 2011 remains something of a benchmark at the club.

The Red Devils have a long history of honouring their academy, often blooding youth talent into the first team.

The likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard were both part of the side that saw off Sheffield United across two legs 11 years ago. Now the club’s latest set of youth prospects will be in action in the final on Wednesday, aiming to win the trophy once again.

Alejandro Garnacho, who made his first team debut recently, will be among those in action.

The likes of Chelsea have dominated in recent years, but United are now back battling for such honours. Over 63,000 fans are due to attend Old Trafford to cheer on their side against Nottingham Forest.

The team that claimed success 11 years ago have gone on to do very different things. Their careers have seen world-record transfers, FA Cup final goals and careers in non league as well as Scotland. We take a look at where they all are more than a decade on.

Sam Johnstone

The goalkeeper has forged an impressive career for himself and could soon be back in the top flight once his West Brom contract winds down.

He’s continued to be picked by England boss Gareth Southgate despite relegation and has proved that life existed beyond Old Trafford.

Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison all helped deliver glory in 2011



Michael Keane

His opportunities at Old Trafford were few and far between before he eventually made a name for himself at Burnley, thus earning himself a move to Everton.

England recognition has followed and whilst he never made the grade at United Keane has certainly enjoyed a promising career.

Sean McGinty

Signed as a youngster from Charlton, McGinty showed his versatility during the Youth Cup success and now plays north of the border in Ayr.

He spent time in the football league before making the trip up to Scotland having been deprived of a chance in Manchester.

Tom Thorpe

The centre-half captained the side

The captain on that successful night would go on to make just one senior appearance before being released. He spent time at the likes of Bolton before heading to Greece. His last club came back in 2018 and he has slipped off the radar since despite being earmarked as a future skipper.

Michele Fornasier

United dealt with a FIFA compliant to sign the full-back from Fiorentina, but he would never go on and enjoy a successful spell in Manchester. He was loaned out to several Italian outfits and now plays in Serie C with Monopoli.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard will leave this summer after well over a decade at the club

One of the few that remains – although not for long.

His lack of minutes are a big part of the reason he’s leaving the club, but he’s left his mark, scoring the winner in the 2015 FA Cup final. Often a squad player, Lingard has more than proved his Premier League credentials and may well be a leading light elsewhere.

Paul Pogba

For a while he was the one who got away following a move to Juventus. A club-record fee bought him back, but he’ll soon leave on a free again.

Pogba has played in Champions League finals and won the World Cup, but his best football in Manchester has only been seen sporadically.

Ravel Morrison

Ravel Morrison never realised his potential



The enigma.

Hailed by many of his peers as the shining light of this side, but he couldn’t carry forward that momentum. He would leave United for West Ham, where he showed glimpses of his talent. Since then he’s moved clubs regularly and is now working under Wayne Rooney at Derby.

Ryan Tunnicliffe

The now Portsmouth man played alongside Pogba at the base of midfield, but unlike the Frenchman opportunities would not come his way.

Tunnicliffe has played under former United coaches during his career following spells at Wigan and Millwall before settling at Fratton Park.

Will Keane

Will Keane has just claimed promotion with Wigan

His brother played at the back and he played up front.

Like his sibling though. Keane would have to leave Manchester to press on in his career. He was United’s main goal supply but struggled to do likewise with the first team despite brief minutes. He’s just won League One with Wigan, scoring 25 times.

Gyliano van Velzen

Signed as a bright prospect, he won the Youth Cup soon after his arrival.

He would leave for Royal Antwerp in 2012/13 and then spent years in Holland, playing for Erik ten Hag’s former side FC Utrecht He returned to England in 2019 with Crawley and Aldershot but is now with Telstar in Holland.

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