Joe Hugill could be ready for the biggest game of his young career yet.

The talented teenager may be in the EFL Trophy this week when the U23s face Sunderland.

Hugill left Sunderland in July 2020 to join Manchester United. It’s a move that has gone pretty well so far.

Hugill was rated so highly in Sunderland that he appeared for the U23 national team when he was only 16.

United beat competition from Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves and Leeds to win the race for his signature, The Mail reported.

(Photo by George Wood / Getty Images)

After scoring a brace on his debut for United’s U18s, Hugill was quickly promoted to the U23 striker last season.

Hugill scored 16 goals in all competitions in a season he missed last month due to injury.

In the summer he trained with the first team and played as a substitute in two preparation games.

Just 17, he will be 18 next week, on October 19th, and he has the chance to play against his former club.

Back to the northeast

The Durham-born forward will enjoy the chance to play against Sunderland.

The game will take place at the Stadium of Light, and while Sunderland will name a changed team with a few second-string players, it will nonetheless be a great occasion for Hugill.

Hugill recently warmed up for the game when the United U18s visited Newcastle. He dropped on his side and scored a hat trick.

A similar return will be more difficult, but not impossible, against the Black Cats.

United lost the group opener 3-2 to Lincoln City before beating Bradford City 3-0. Hugill scored in victory at the Valley Parade.

(Photo by Tom Purslow / Manchester United via Getty Images)

A chance to get started

However, it was not a very easy and uncomplicated season for Hugill at U23 level. The goal against Bradford broke a goal drought that went back to February and Anthony Elanga, falling behind from the first team, has taken his place.

Elanga is with Sweden’s U21 national team and while Charlie McNeill is back from injury, Hugill will likely spend his big moment in Sunderland trying to add on the four goals he has scored in all academy level competitions this season .

This is a great test for him to show what he’s capable of and measure himself against older players from the club he left.

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