Manchester City reject Sadiq El Fitouri is busy earning himself rave reviews, having been offered a trial at Manchester United after being scouted by Paul Scholes and Phil Neville.
According to the Daily Mail the young full-back took part in a friendly fixture played between the club’s U21 side and current first-team fringe players, and stole the show. El Fitouri joined lowly Salford City in December, having been released by the Citizens last year.
It took him just one appearance for Salford - his debut, made on January 3 this year - to impress Scholes and Neville, who immediately recommended him to to United. After that he was handed a trial with the Red Devils, and reportedly excelled when given the chance to share a pitch with the likes of fellow youngster Adnan Januzaj, new-boy Victor Valdes and club veteran Darren Fletcher.
In fact, coaching staff were so taken back by his performances that they’re keen to give him another run out in order to gauge how good he could be in the future. Presumably if he performs well he could secure himself a professional contract, with United no doubt envisaging a scenario wherein they can embarrass City for letting him go.
Van Gaal's approach
It certainly could end up working to United’s advantage, with Van Gaal said to be looking for full-backs to join his ranks, particularly on the right-hand side. Neither Rafael da Silva nor Antonio Valencia has filled the Dutchman with confidence so far this term, so much so that he was said to be considering a move for ageing Barcelona star Dani Alves.
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Though El Fitouri can’t yet be considered close to the calibre of player Alves is there must be something in him seen by Scholes and Neville that would indicate he’ll eventually be able to play at the highest level.
With Van Gaal famous for his pro-youth stance - he’s overseen the breakthroughs of the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Thomas Muller in the past - Fitouri will be aware he’s not going to be cast out without opportunities to prove himself. If he can or not is another matter entirely.