Tom Huddlestone named Manchester United U21 player-manager as youth mentor at Old Trafford

Tom Huddlestone is named Manchester United U21 player-manager – after former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff over the weekend

  • Tom Huddlestone joins Manchester United as player-manager of the U21 team
  • The 35-year-old midfielder had played at Hull before leaving this summer
  • United hope to use their vast experience to mentor their promising youngsters

Tom Huddlestone joins Manchester United as player-manager of the club’s U21s.

The 35-year-old midfielder played at Hull City until the end of last season and will use his vast experience to help mentor United’s youngsters as they seek to become first-team players.

United used a similar move last season by bringing in defender Paul McShane, who has since been promoted to full-time player development stage manager.

Tom Huddlestone (above) joins Manchester United as the club’s U21 player-manager

The former Tottenham and England midfielder left Hull City this summer.

The former Tottenham and England midfielder left Hull City this summer.

The proposed involvement of former England international Huddlestone is seen as vital by academy director Nick Cox, who wants United’s young stars to benefit from the midfield experience in their next steps.

Liverpool have taken similar steps this season by bringing back Jay Spearing to work with their young reserves. McShane has known Huddlestone from their time at Hull and knew he wanted to become a coach.

It helped pave the way for his move to Carrington with United set to confirm the appointment this week. United have made a number of changes to their coaching set-up this summer.

Former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined manager Erik ten Hag's staff this weekend

Former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined manager Erik ten Hag’s staff this weekend

Former Porto, West Ham and Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined first-team manager Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff at the weekend.

McShane only made five appearances last season in his mentor role and Huddlestone is unlikely to play more than that barring injuries.

The 6ft 3in former Spurs star sees the opportunity in a coaching role where he can use his ability to help uphold standards by participating in training sessions.

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