Everything you need to know about Omari Forson, the Man United prodigy in line for his first Premier League start

STARS ABROAD Everything you need to know about Omari Forson, the Man United prodigy in line for his first Premier League start

Mark Kinyanjui 13:03 - 24.02.2024

Could Omari Forson’s rise be as meteoric as Kobbie Mainoo’s as he eyes maiden start upfront for Man United in Hojlund’s absence?

Manchester United is preparing to unleash 19-year-old Omari Forson in his first starting appearance against Fulham on Saturday, stepping into the breach left by the injured Rasmus Hojlund.

 The strategic decision comes after meticulous training sessions where Forson has been integrated into a front three alongside Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho. 

Erik ten Hag, the United manager, is anticipated to entrust the young talent with a pivotal role at Old Trafford.

The team faces limited options due to the absence of Hojlund, sidelined for up to three weeks with a calf injury. 

Adding to the challenge, Anthony Martial, the only other senior central striker, is not expected to return before April following groin surgery in January. 

This leaves Forson as a promising choice to bolster the attack, given his recent impactful contributions off the bench.

Who is Omari Forson?

Forson's journey with Manchester United began in January 2019 when he made the switch from Tottenham Hotspur. Rising through the ranks of the club's youth teams, he played a pivotal role in the Under-18s FA Youth Cup-winning team in 2022, sharing the spotlight with current first-team stars Mainoo and Garnacho.

As a versatile attacking player, Forson has primarily featured as an attacking or wide midfielder in United's youth teams. His adaptability was evident when he seamlessly replaced Hojlund in a recent victory against Wolves.

 Prior to this, Forson showcased his skills in the pre-season tour, featuring on the left-wing against Leeds United in Oslo and earning a start against Borussia Dortmund during the tour of the United States.

Can his rise be as meteoric as Kobbie Mainoo’s?

Forson has showcased his potential with appearances in recent FA Cup victories over Wigan Athletic and Newport County.

 Notably, in the Premier League triumph over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Forson entered the fray in the 86th minute, providing the crucial assist for Kobbie Mainoo's winning goal.

 This marked only the second instance in Premier League history where a teenager both scored and assisted a winning goal, with the first being Cristiano Ronaldo setting up Wayne Rooney in 2005.

Erik ten Hag's decision to grant Forson a starting role, particularly over more established options like Amad and Antony, underscores a significant vote of confidence in the England Under-20 international.

 Despite Forson's contract expiring in June, the manager sees immense potential in his abilities and contributions to the team.

However, Forson's journey hasn't been without its challenges. A confrontation with Karim Adeyemi during the Dortmund clash resulted in both players receiving yellow cards, leading to Forson's substitution in the 37th minute. 

Erik ten Hag, addressing the incident, emphasized the need for Forson to use such experiences as a "learning curve" while cautioning against taking matters into his own hands.

As Manchester United looks ahead to the Fulham clash, the spotlight is on Forson, poised to make a significant impact and validate the manager's confidence in his abilities.

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