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Wonderkid Red Devil

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Manchester United continue to beef up their youth ranks. After pre-Brexit signings of Hannibal Mejbri, Willy Kambwala and more, the club has turned its focus to British gems. At the forefront of that queue stands Toby Collyer.

The precocious 18-year-old has been signed by Manchester United from Brighton. The imposing midfielder caught the eye of United scouts during Brighton’s game against Huddersfield. Collyer went on trial at Carrington afterwards. Secret Scout confirmed an agreement has been struck for his permanent signing.

Who is Toby Collyer?

Toby Collyer is an 18-year-old midfielder who played for Brighton’s youth teams. Therefore, he would make a fine addition to United’s midfield ranks. Hannibal Mejbri is the crown jewel of Manchester United’s future midfield.

toby collyer representation
Toby Collyer is highly-rated in English youth circles

Collyer’s style of play is suited to play as the lone defensive midfielder. He is equally comfortable playing as one of two central midfielders in a 4-3-3. This versatility will undoubtedly do him good in his career. Moreover, the lack of a pure No.6 makes it quite possible for him to be fast-tracked.

Toby Collyer potential

Collyer is regarded as one of the finest prospects in England’s age groups. Born in Worthing, England on Jan 3, 2004, Toby Collyer has already made appearances for England U16, U17 and U19s. He has shown leadership qualities in his nascent career so far. Collyer has captained England at U16s and U17 levels.

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Notably, Man United’s now-former Head of Youth Development, Justin Cochrane, was the head coach of England U16s and U17s when Toby Collyer turned out for the team. Cochrane has left the club for a first-team coaching role at Brentford. However, the signing of Collyer could be a great gift for Man Utd in the coming years.

Defensive midfield is a position Manchester United lacks quality in. Therefore, there is an opening to be had for Collyer in a few years if he proves his mettle.

Toby Collyer stats

Collyer didn’t make many appearances for Brighton last season. However, his performances the season before caught the eye of many clubs across the UK. Last season, Collyer made only one appearance for Brighton U18s. The reason behind this is unclear.

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It could be due to Collyer being close to signing with Manchester United. As the move is finalized, Collyer could be fast-tracked into the U23 squad depending upon his early performances for the U18s.

Skills and style of play

Toby Collyer is more in the mould of a Michael Carrick-type defensive midfielder than a pure destroyer, like Wilfred Ndidi. He has a calm head on his shoulders and likes to dictate possession from the No.6 position. With James Garner impressing on loan at Nottingham Forest in a more advanced position, a player of Collyer’s skills was sorely needed in the youth setup.

Moreover, Collyer’s frame is already very well-developed. Hannibal Mejbri and James Garner’s frame held them back from being fast-tracked into senior football. If Toby Collyer performs well in age-group football, his frame is not expected to be a hurdle.

Toby Collyer at Manchester United

Manchester United have signed Collyer on a 3.5yr deal, with his contract running till the end of 2026. A long-term contract for the 18-year-old shows the trust the club has placed in him. With talented English players worth their weight in gold post-Brexit, this deal is a coup for Manchester United. Furthermore, Collyer was reportedly on the radar of several clubs. Therefore, there is a lot of excitement in United’s ranks about Toby Collyer. Meanwhile, Collyer would look to make an impression in United’s age-group teams. From there, the sky seems to be the limit for the kid from Worthing.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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