An unfamiliar name to most Sheffield United fans was named on the bench on Wednesday – Frankie Maguire.
Allocated the number 35 shirt, Maguire was named among the substitutes for the FA Cup fifth round win over Bristol City.
The 17-year-old didn’t make it onto the pitch as Billy Sharp’s second half penalty secured a 1-0 victory and the Blades’ place in the quarter-finals.
But Maguire is one of an ever-growing crop of youngsters predicted to have a bright future at the club.
So, who is Frankie Maguire?
Born in Worksop, The Sheffield Star reports Maguire has been part of the United academy since he was eight-years-old.
Yorkshire Live adds that the teenager has been rewarded with a first team call-up having impressed in the Under-23s this season.
Maguire was in action for Paul Heckingbottom’s side as recently as Monday night. He scored in a 2-0 win at Crewe Alexandra.
The midfielder has played 11 times for the Under-23s in 2020/21, making eight starts.
This quick promotion through the youth ranks came after Maguire impressed during six starts for the Under-18s. He’s also scored once at that level.
Maguire is no relation of Manchester United captain, Harry – who is, of course, another graduate of the Blades academy.
The future is bright
Maguire is just one of a crop of young players making a name for themselves at Bramall Lane.
Antwoine Hackford became the club’s youngster ever Premier League player in January at 16 years and 288 days. Hackford when he came off the bench during the 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Like Maguire, fellow youngsters Zak Brunt and Kyron Gordon have also been named as substitutes for the first team in recent months.
Then there is Iliman Ndiaye, who set up both goals in the aforementioned Under-23s victory at Crewe.
As well as 18-year-old Hassan Ayari, who was recently called up by the Tunisia Under-20s.
Head of academy, Jack Lester, has praised manager Chris Wilder and his backroom team for offering a clear path to the first team. Lester also thinks this shows investment in the youth system is working.