Manchester United won by a three-goal margin for only the second time this season as they defeated Everton in the Premier League over the weekend.
The 3-0 win will surely be a confidence booster as the Red Devils prepare to face Galatasaray in what is a vital Champions League match on Wednesday evening.
Erik ten Hag will be hoping the comfortable win over the Toffees could be the catalyst which turns around United’s season, as they haven’t exactly had the best of times recently.
Indeed, since the start of the campaign, the club have won just ten of their 19 matches and have already suffered elimination in the EFL Cup.
Surprisingly, especially with their form, the Old Trafford side occupy sixth spot in the table, just six points off the leaders Liverpool, and while a title challenge may be a tad farfetched, Ten Hag will be aiming for another top-four finish.
There needs to be some improvement to the squad, however, and with the January transfer window fast approaching, the Dutchman may just delve into the market for another signing or two ahead of the second half of the season.
Not content with just bolstering his first-team squad, Ten Hag is also keen on luring the very best young talent in the world to Manchester, and they have been linked with 16-year-old Estevao Willian recently.
Man Utd transfer news – Estevao Willian
According to reports in Spain, United are showing a keen interest in the talented winger, although they face stiff competition from close to home as Manchester City and Chelsea also retain an interest in making a potential swoop.
Real Madrid and Barcelona are another two names keeping tabs on him too, and with a reported release clause of €60m (£52m), clearly indicating that he isn’t going to come cheap regardless of who signs him.
The report claims that Ten Hag is pushing United to begin advanced negotiations with the teenage prodigy in order to fend off some intense competition.
Whether this works or not remains to be seen, although Palmeiras look resigned to losing him in the near future, such is his limitless potential.
The Red Devils are no strangers to picking up some of the best young talents in the business and a couple of them are already starring in the first team.
Alejandro Garnacho is one and could Estevao Willian follow in his footsteps?
Alejandro Garnacho’s statistics at Man Utd
The Old Trafford side signed the young Argentinian from Atlético Madrid back in 2020 when he was just 16 – the same age as Willian – and he has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the senior squad over the previous 12 months.
Indeed, the winger enjoyed a breakthrough campaign during 2022/23, making 34 appearances across all competitions and chipping in with five goals and five assists, proving himself to be a useful member of Ten Hag’s squad during his first season in charge.
The 19-year-old has already won three caps for World champions Argentina, and he can operate on either wing, giving the former Ajax boss plenty of options.
He showcased just how good he is by scoring a stunning overhead kick against Everton on Sunday, with many comparing it to a similar effort by Wayne Rooney against City 12 years ago.
Although the Dutchman will be aiming to add some more players who possess a winning mentality to his team, complementing them with some excellent young talent could be the correct way to go from now on.
Willian looks like he is the next big thing to emerge from Brazil and if he joins United, he may be Garnacho 2.0 for Ten Hag.
Estevao Willian’s youth statistics
The Brazilian is the product of Palmeiras’ excellent academy, which has produced talents such as Danilo, Endrick and Luis Guilherme while he is yet to make a senior appearance for the club, despite his potential.
The right-winger has scored twice in 14 matches for the U20 side, and it surely won’t be long before he finally makes his long-awaited senior bow for the Brazilian side.
He was part of the Brazil squad for the U17 World Cup recently and despite being sent packing from the tournament by arch-rivals Argentina, he still managed to score three goals and register three assists, displaying his wide array of skills on the biggest stage for the best young talents in the world.
It was the tie against Ecuador in the last 16 in which Estevao was at his best in front of goal. Not only did he score twice, but he managed five total shots, supplied five key passes, and succeeded with all five of his attempted dribbles, making a mockery of the Ecuadorian backline on a regular basis.
This led to praise from talent scout Jacek Kulig, who said this after the game: “The youngest member of this excellent Brazilian team. World-class talent.”
Brazilians to play for Man Utd
Stats via Transfermarkt
His performances have obviously attracted plenty of attention from the likes of United and City and while he may not be able to leave until he turns 18, it is looking increasingly likely that a club will agree a move for him before then.
Kulig lauded further praise on the youngster earlier this month, claiming that “the sky is the limit” for the 16-year-old and if the Brazilian hotshot continues his wonderful rise, he will be able to showcase those aforementioned skills on the senior stage in the coming months.
It’s no wonder the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona are all sniffing around the teenager as they look to sign the next big thing.
Man Utd’s £47m star deserves as much praise as Garnacho and Mainoo
Man Utd roared to an excellent 3-0 over the Toffees yesterday in the Premier League
There have been so many youngsters emerging in Brazil and Argentina over the previous few years who have been poached by the biggest teams. Although some hit the big time, such as Vinicius Jr, many are left with false promises and a career on European soil which doesn’t quite turn out as first anticipated.
If the Red Devils are certain on signing Estevao, they may be better off watching him play some senior matches first before deciding to go straight in and pay £52m.
His talent could lead him to become a first-team regular like Garnacho, but he must be nurtured if he does find his way to Manchester.