25. NICK POWELL
|Birthdate:||23 Mar 1994|
|Joined United:||01 Jul 2012|
Nick Powell made a sizeable leap up from League One’s Crewe Alexandra to join United in the summer of 2012, but the highly-rated young midfielder-turned-striker has the wherewithal to be an Old Trafford success.
Having made waves in his time at Gresty Road, the talented teenager attracted many top-flight admirers, including the likes of Chelsea. The overtures of Sir Alex Ferguson, however, ensured that he plumped to join the Reds ahead of the 2012/13 season.
On his way up through the Crewe ranks, Powell debuted in under-18s football at just 15 and was still only 16 when he made his competitive senior debut at Cheltenham Town in August 2010.
While continuing to impress with the club’s Academy and Reserve teams, Nick was sporadically involved at senior level during the 2010/11 season, making one start and 18 substitute appearances. His breakthrough campaign came the following term, as he played an integral part in the Railwaymen’s promotion to League One, bagging a scorching opener in May’s Play-Off Final victory over Cheltenham Town and scoring 16 times over 45 appearances.
Capped by England at Under-16s, Under-17s and Under-18s level, reports increasingly linked Powell with a further hike up the divisions, but United had already agreed a deal in principle with Crewe before his Play-Off heroics.
Upon agreeing to signed the youngster, Sir Alex admitted: “We have scouted Nick for months now. He is an exceptional talent and has been schooled well at Crewe. He has a lot to offer and we are all looking forward to working with him.”
The manager sees Powell as a central midfield player and stationed him in that role during the DHL tour of South Africa and China as he made his bow against Ajax Cape Town. Clearly a tidy footballer with plenty of ability, he has been promised regular training with the first team and the chance to make his mark in 2012/2013.