Date: 5th July 2011 at 1:31am
Written by:
Ryan Tunnicliffe

Can the Bury born youngster prove he is the real deal this season?

At the beginning of last season if you’d asked me the Manchester United players I thought had the best chance of one day breaking into the first team, my answers would have been Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba.

All that changed the day I first witnessed a young lad who looked like a man, dominating the midfield in an academy game, in such a way I even dared to think “he reminds me of Keano.”

Ryan Tunnicliffe has fast become my favourite young United player, thanks not only to his superb performances but also as he harks back to the sort of midfielder I was fortunate enough to grow up on as a young Red.

First Bryan Robson, then Paul Ince, before finally Roy Keane gave the sort of box to box barnstorming performances that automatically made any young fan watch them in awe. Tunnicliffe is cut from a similar cloth and although I’m aware that comparing him to the likes of Keane and Robson is unfair- I’m sorry but I just can’t help it.

I’m certainly not alone in my view as on many United blogs and forums, I’ve seen fans comparing him to the former Cork midfield enforcer.

It was recently announced that Tunnicliffe has joined Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United on loan for a season.

At only 18 Tunnicliffe certainly has at least two or three years before anyone would realistically expect him to be making a mark on the United first team, but right now a spell in the Championship may be the perfect apprenticeship.

Peterborough will have a bit of a struggle on their hands next season after being promoted via the play-off and losing top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith. It well may be a case of Tunnicliffe being thrown into the deep end to see if he can swim and despite his young age, I’m of the firm belief he’ll rise to the occasion.

Playing for the reserves is one thing but enjoying first team football in a league as competitive as the Championship is another and could help mould the teenager into the star he’s shaping up to be.

United have been crying out for a real box to box midfielder since 2005 and while certain players can do midfield roles at the club, none are quite the all rounder that Tunnicliffe is.

Will he be good enough to make the grade at United, let alone follow in Keane’s footsteps only time will tell, but for now mixing it up in the Championship is the ideal opportunity for him to prove his worth.

With former academy captain Scott Wootton also on loan at London Road next season it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on the Posh games for United fans.



9 responses to “The ‘Next Roy Keane’ Given Perfect Opportunity To Prove His Worth”

  1. John Tring says:

    Bro, you are slightly outdated. This fellow has just left on loan. And while all these nonsense about youngsters breaking into 1st team etc make romantic but tired reading, Utd require proven world-class players if they are not to lose 8-0 next season to Barca and the likes.

    • Ali Hassan says:

      John Tring u need to ralize the very fact that even the great Barca team has a very stong academy and the likes of messi xavi iniesta all came from their academy.Only recently Thiago has come in the lime light. A factory of youngsters is essential for the success of any football club.

  2. Fred says:

    Only time will tell

  3. dessie says:

    john tring – maybe city is the club for you then.

  4. Georgio says:

    Was surprised to hear the Robbo comparisons. That’s what I thought when I saw him but didn’t want to get carried away. But he looks way ahead of his age.

  5. bernard kelly says:

    A youth system is essential , thats why chelsea only have John Terry

  6. Jack says:

    lets hope he can fulfil his potential and this time next hoping he can get a first team chance.

    i always prefer to see the kids come through rather than sign a £30m star.

  7. Youths the way to go says:

    Tunnicliffe – Morrison – Pogba are for sure 1st team players in the years to come

  8. spence omar says:

    yeah idd love to see the youngsters come through but come on man u needs a classic midfielder right now as a matter of fact three