Jose Mourinho promoted seven academy youngsters to his first-team squad this weekend.
They include promising midfielder Angel Gomes, 17, who signed his first professional contract this month after becoming United’s youngest first-team player since Duncan Edwards when he made a late substitute appearance against Crystal Palace last season, aged 16.
And with United facing three games in a six-day period, starting with Today’s final league game of 2017 at home to Southampton, the group have the chance of earning a role in forthcoming fixtures.
Defender Demetri Mitchell, who started that same Palace game at the end of last season, was also involved in practice yesterday.
Mourinho also gave training call-ups to defenders RoShaun Williams and Matt Olosunde, midfielder Callum Gribbin and forwards Zak Dearnley and Joshua Bohui.
United, who have seen their fading title hopes all but disappear with disappointing draws against Leicester and Burnley over the holidays, visit Everton on Monday and face Championship side Derby in the FA Cup next week.
That would appear to offer the youngsters a realistic chance of breaking into Mourinho’s match-day squad, especially as a number of fringe first teamers have come in for criticism from the manager in recent weeks.