The manager’s attendance at Altrincham demonstrates his interest in the development of young talent, something he was known for during his time as Ajax boss. Current United players Donny van de Beek and Antony are among those who benefitted from being given early first-team bows at the Amsterdam club.

The player leading the Under-21s attack, Charlie McNeill, made his senior debut in last week’s Europa League tie against Real Sociedad at Old Trafford.

Two other starters in Friday’s Academy game, Charlie Savage and Isak Hansen-Aaroen, have also featured for the first team under Ten Hag by appearing in pre-season friendlies.

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