Manchester United to participate in EFL Trophy
Updated: Jun 15, 2019
Manchester United are set to participate in next season's EFL Trophy for the first time in their history.
The Red Devils will enter a team comprised largely of Under-21 players as they make their debut in the competition.
The rules of the EFL Trophy state that at least six of the club's starting line-up must be 21 years old or younger as of June 30.
Additionally, no more than two of the players over 21 can have made more than 40 first-team appearances, also as of June 30.
United's Head of Academy, Nicky Butt, explained that the motivation for entering the tournament was to provide young players with the opportunity to test themselves against older, more experienced opposition.
"We are looking forward to being involved in the EFL Trophy next season," Butt said on
"The competition provides a range of experiences that will act as the ideal platform for the development of our homegrown talent.
"We are always looking to be innovative in order to find the best development path for our young players; the opportunity to face senior opponents will benefit them greatly."
United will be hoping to blood promising youngsters such as Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood in the tournament, as they look to younger players in a bid to improve on a disappointing season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope that participation in the competition spurs the development of some of his young players along enough for them to make an impact in the first team as they bid to return to the Champions League in the 2020/21 season.
Liverpool will also be involved for the first time, meaning that every one of the Premier League's top six clubs are participating in the competition, with 10 other sides also invited to enter their youth teams, alongside the 48 senior teams from League One and League Two.
Last season, Portsmouth ran out winners after a penalty shootout victory over fellow League One outfit Sunderland following a 2-2 draw, beating both Tottenham's and Arsenal's youth teams en route to the final.
The Gunners were debutants themselves last year and made it to the first knockout stage, but were bested by the eventual winners.