Manchester United sign Irish U16 Captain to Academy Team

Manchester United have signed 15-year-old Republic of Ireland defender Lee O'Connor to their academy as Nicky Butt looks to bolster United's youth system.

Manchester United sign Irish U16 Captain to Academy Team
Waterford Sport

According to Waterford Sport, Manchester United have signed 15-year-old Republic of Ireland defender Lee O'Connor

O'Connor is currently the captain of Ireland's U-16 team and was recently named Ireland's U-15 player of the year, an award he received from Everton's Irish defender Seamus Coleman

The 15-year-old will join James 'Jimmy' Dunne as the only Irishmen in United's academy. 

O'Connor signs hoping to replicate O'Shea

O'Connor will be following in the footsteps of former Manchester United defender John O'Shea, who joined United from Waterford in 1998. O'Shea went on to spend 10 years in Manchester, accumulating six Premier League titles, two league cups, an FA Cup, the Champions Leauge and the Club World Cup. United fans will hope O'Connor can bring the club the same success.

Nicky Butt, head of United's academy, claimed last month that he would make a plethora of academy signings. He commented, "[we’re] short on a few numbers in the different age groups and it’s something we need to address. Something we are addressing and something we will hopefully get over the line in the next few weeks, in time for next season."

"It’s the same as any other club. We all want to attract the best young players in Europe, at whatever age, and we’re exactly the same. We want to attract the best players we can from all over Europe and bring them into what we feel is already a great set-up."

Manchester United sign Ireland under-16 captain

It seems like Butt is continuing his recruiting. After already confirming the signings of Luca Ercolani and Matthew Olosunde last month, Manchester United's academy is still continuing to grow. 

United's academy continues to only get better as their U-21 side captured the Premier League title this week against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, promoting the idea that United's future is in good hands under Butt's control. 

O'Connor should be excited with his chance to join Manchester United. With fairytale stories of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson joining the Red Devil's first-team, the door should be wide open for the young Irish defender. 

O'Connor was voted U15 Ireland International POTY | Photo: Twitter
O'Connor was voted U15 Ireland International POTY | Photo: Twitter

With O'Connor playing above his age group with Ireland's U-16 and U-17 teams, United fans should salivate at the chance of him getting a first team chance in the upcoming seasons.