Ex-Tottenham, Derby County and Hull City star surprises Man Utd fans as he's spotted in training

Tom Huddlestone, right, in action in Manchester United training on MondayTom Huddlestone, right, in action in Manchester United training on Monday
Tom Huddlestone, right, in action in Manchester United training on Monday | Manchester United via Getty Imag
The four-cap England international joined in with the first-team at Carrington on Monday.

Every fan loves a snoop at training pictures. Who’s in, who’s out, which youth team players are getting the chance to impress the manager?

So many questions answered by a seemingly simple set of pictures. It was the case again though for Manchester United fans on Monday - have a flick through them and check on any injured players and prospects involved ahead of the trip to West Ham on Saturday lunchtime. 

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It was one player who stood out though - 36-year-old ex-Spurs, Derby and Hull midfielder Tom Huddlestone. To the untrained eye, the sight of the towering midfielder mixing it with United’s first-teamers was a real shock. To United fans it was more surprise, than shock, given he has been at the club for the last 12 months but not with the first team. 

Huddlestone’s role sees him work with the club’s Under-21s, acting as a player-coach, a practice used by many clubs to help get their top prospects ready for first team football. First arriving at the club in the summer of 2022, the four-cap England international is now in his second season where as well as coaching, he can play as an over-age player. 

There’s no danger that Huddlestone, who turns 37 on December 28, will go the same way as Jonny Evans and go from veteran in training to playing in the Premier League and Champions League but that didn’t stop some people on social media raising their eyebrows at his presence. 

The reality was that given the session was so soon after United’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool, plenty from the Under-21 set-up, mostly young players, were involved at Carrington. 

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Explaining Huddlestone’s role back in July, United said: “Tom Huddlestone is to continue as player-coach for Manchester United's Under-21s. The former England international started the innovative role in the Academy in August 2022, fulfilling a position previously held by Paul McShane.

“By working with the other coaches, he has been able to pass on his experience to the club's youngsters, even during some matches when taking to the field. Huddlestone will at times solely play in fixtures for the U21s as one of five permitted over-age outfield players in Premier League 2 and the Papa Johns Trophy.”

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