7 forgotten Man Utd players are now starring in the Football League

With the Class of ‘92, Manchester United boasts the most impressive litter of graduates the Premier League has ever seen.

The likes of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and David Beckham all went on to great success at Man United, winning countless Premier League titles along the way.

But of course, there are those who don’t make the grade, who sadly fall behind and end up as bench warmers.

Well in this list, we are celebrating those who did suffer a downfall at Old Trafford, but instead of filtering down to the non-league and leaving football altogether, they held their own and are still playing at one of the highest levels in the country.

To play in the Football League is no mean feat. Here we take a look at some who are still in and among it.

Ravel Morrison (Derby)

Ravel Morrison, was another to miss out on the big time in the northwest. Sir Alex Ferguson once famously described as "the best kid you will ever see" – but he left the club in 2012 and made no senior appearances in the league.

After a journeyman career with clubs such as Lazio, West Ham, Birmingham City, and Sheffield United, among others, Morrison found his way to the Midlands after playing in several trial games in pre-season during the summer.

The 28-year-old Mancunian has made 18 outings for Derby this season, perhaps Rooney realising the massive talent he has at his disposal with the player.

Can Man United achieve top four this season? Let us know in the comments section.

Josh Harrop (Preston)

Josh Harrop scored for United on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign. But that was to be his only high at the club. Rather than a taste of things to come, it was a grand exit.

It was his only goal in his only appearance for the club.

Harrop chose not to accept a fresh contract with United – presumably a contractual stipulation over game-time – and instead opted to join Preston in the Championship.


The midfielder scored eight goals in total during the 2019-20 season, but still was sent on loan to Ipswich Town the following year, before returning to the Lancashire club.

This season, Preston did not name him in their 25-man Championship squad.

The 26-year-old posted on Instagram an update: “Frustrating time out injured working hard each day to get back fit and back to what I love doing most.”

Will Keane (Wigan)

Will Keane and his brother Michael, now at Everton, were at United's academy as youngsters. But while Michael is now in the Premier League, Will has been plying his trade just outside it, in League One and the Championship.

He made just two league appearances for the Red Devils before leaving for Hull in 2016. From there he joined Wigan in October 2020.

It’s been with the Latics that Keane has enjoyed some incredible form in League One.

Over the past two seasons he’s been with the club, the 28-year-old has scored 21 goals in 59 appearances.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Burton Albion)

The Manchester-born Cameron Borthwick-Jackson joined United's Academy at the age of six in 2003.

He rose through the ranks and made ten appearances for the Red Devils in the 2015–16 season.

Highly rated at one point, the 24-year-old was sent out on loan on five separate occasions, including to Leeds and Wolves. He was eventually released in 2020.

Over the summer, it was announced that Borthwick-Jackson was joining League One club Burton Albion after his contract expired at nearby Oldham Athletic.

Ryan Tunnicliffe (Portsmouth)

Another journeyman, Ryan Tunnicliffe, was loaned out by Untied on three occasions, having only made two appearances in the League Cup.

He joined Fulham in 2014, where he was sent out on loan three times once more.

The midfielder went to Millwall in 2017, before moving to newly-promoted Luton Town, helping them consolidate in the Championship.

At 28, he’s now with League One Portsmouth, who are hoping for a playoff place.

James Wilson (Port Vale)

Giggs was in the dugout to give Wilson his first chance at United.

The striker whipped up a lot of buzz owing to his goalscoring feats in the reserves.

Sadly loan spells at Brighton, Derby, Sheffield United and Aberdeen didn’t go to plan and he was released by the Red Devils.

Wilson even could not find his feet at Aberdeen and Salford City, but now at Port Vale, the 26-year-old is clicking into gear.

For the Valiants, he’s scored seven goals in 18 games this season.

Tom Lawrence (Derby)

Tom Lawrence is currently among the ranks of Derby County, playing under Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney. The Wrexham-born striker was signed up to Old Trafford at just eight years old and made his way up through the ranks.

However, he could not quite make the grade at United and was shipped on loan to Carlisle United and Yeovil Town before joining Leicester City in September 2014.

But even with the Foxes, Lawrence was loaned out a number of times – including Rotherham United, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Ipswich Town.

Lawrence joined the Rams in 2017, where the 27-year-old is enjoying the best years of his career. Sam Johnstone (West Brom)

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