Indy Boonen, the starlet who signed for Manchester United’s youth academy in February, could have joined Arsenal instead, his father has revealed.
Boonen, who used to play for Belgian side KRC Genk, moved to United earlier this year, and has since been integrated into the Old Trafford outfit’s U18 side.
Other options confirmed
However, the player’s father has since revealed that his son had the pick of a few clubs before joining United, with the Red Devils just the second club he had gone on trial with.
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“Indy first went on trial with Salzburg, Manchester United were the second club," Boonen's father said to Het Belang van Limburg, as relayed by Sport Review.
“Arsenal, Feyenoord, Wolfsburg and Basel were also after him; Ajax had also shown an interest”, Boonen senior continued.
“But Indy always wanted to join Manchester United and after his week-long trial period he called me and said, ‘I want to play football here’.”
Though he’s obviously light years away from Louis van Gaal’s first-team at this moment in time, the fact that the 16-year-old chose United over a number of other suitors implies the former Premier League champions still retain some of the pulling power they boasted of old.
If nothing else that’s good news for the club moving forward, especially with fears having been registered by fans recently regarding the development of youth at the club, compared with how much money Van Gaal has spent on new players.
With the fabled Class of 92’ now a distant memory and the likes of James Wilson and Adnan Januzaj - players who have come through the United youth system - struggling to make the first-team, are United more reliant on purchasing players rather than raising them via their own facilities?
United fans, what do you think? Should more academy graduates be in the first-team? Let us know in the comments box below.