Already well known to United’s youth followers at the time, the left-footer announced himself to a wider audience with a brace in the 3-0 FA Youth Cup win over Hull City at Old Trafford in January 2015. But within weeks he was being linked with a switch to Merseyside, and at one stage it seemed nailed on that he would swap Manchester for Liverpool.
Unhappy at his lack of starts in the Under-18s side then managed by Paul McGuinness, Gribbin began following Liverpool’s Twitter account shortly after rumours of a possible departure had begun and United fans started to fear the worst.
But by July that year, just days after being included in a host of first-team training sessions by Louis van Gaal, he was proudly announcing a new four-year deal at United and now, aged 19, he remains one of the most highly-rated youngsters at Old Trafford.
A majestic left foot helps to make Gribbin a tremendously attractive footballer, with his set-piece skills marking him out as a natural talent. Having an ability to dribble without the ball ever being more than a few feet away from him doesn’t do much harm either, and his elusiveness makes him a nightmare for defenders.
His slender gait can be deceiving, as he regularly shows a decent knack for riding challenges when in full flight and looking to cause havoc, while he’s already shown a healthy supply of mental fortitude after bouncing back from a broken fibula, suffered in training last August.
In a shortened under-23 campaign this time around, he netted twice in seven starts and became Ricky Sbragia’s first-choice No.10. Most markedly, the former England under-16 international's most recent goal was a late winner from the penalty spot against Liverpool at Anfield!
Gribbin had played the vast majority of his first season at reserve level as a right-sided midfielder, largely cutting in off the flank to add a new angle of attack, but he had previously thrived in the No.10 spot in McGuinness’ academy ranks.
He was also an ever-present for Nicky Butt’s under-19 side in the UEFA Youth League in 2015-16, scoring a delightful free-kick in the 3-0 win at PSV which also included a pair of goals for a young man by the name of Marcus Rashford.
In an academy containing the likes of Rashford, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Scott McTominay, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and more, Gribbin has always had the ability to stand out and that says a lot about his natural ability.
Add in the developments he has made in terms of his decision-making and physical approach of late, and the Salford native is ready to push on a full 10 years after first arriving at Manchester United.