Tom Huddlestone is appointed Manchester United U21 player-coach - after former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined Erik ten Hag's coaching staff at the weekend

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Tom Huddlestone is appointed Manchester United U21 player-coach - after former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined Erik ten Hag's coaching staff at the weekend

  • Tom Huddlestone is joining Manchester United as player-coach for the U21 side 
  • The 35-year-old midfielder had been playing at Hull before leaving this summer 
  • United hope to use his vast experience to mentor their promising youngsters 

Tom Huddlestone is joining Manchester United as a player-coach for the club's U21s.

The 35-year old midfielder had been playing at Hull City up until the end of last season and will use his vast experience to help mentor United's youngsters as they look to develop into first-team players.

United used a similar initiative last season when they brought in defender Paul McShane, who has since been promoted to full-time player development phase coach.

Tom Huddlestone (above) is joining Manchester United as a player-coach for the club's U21s

Tom Huddlestone (above) is joining Manchester United as a player-coach for the club's U21s

Tom Huddlestone (above) is joining Manchester United as a player-coach for the club's U21s

The former Tottenham and England midfielder left Championship side Hull City this summer

The former Tottenham and England midfielder left Championship side Hull City this summer

The proposed involvement of former England international Huddlestone is seen as vital by academy manager Nick Cox, who wants the younger United stars to tap into the midfielder's experience as they take their next steps.

Liverpool have taken similar steps this season by bringing back Jay Spearing to work with their young reserves. McShane knows Huddlestone from their time together at Hull and knew he had a desire to get into coaching.

That has helped pave the way for his move to Carrington with United ready to confirm the appointment this week. United have made a number of changes to their coaching set up this summer.

Former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined manager Erik ten Hag's staff at the weekend

Former Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined manager Erik ten Hag's staff at the weekend

Former Porto, West Ham and Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy joined first-team manager Erik ten Hag's staff at the weekend.

McShane made only five appearances last season in his mentor role and Huddlestone is unlikely to play more than that barring injuries.

The 6ft 3ins former Spurs star views the opportunity as very much a coaching role where he can use his ability to help drive standards by taking part in training sessions. 

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