Manchester United youngsters have a habit of coming to the fore when the first team is at its lowest ebb. When David Moyes was staring a defeat to Sunderland in the face that threatened to deepen his miserable start in the Old Trafford dugout in October 2013, an 18-year-old debutant named Adnan Januzaj was his unlikely saviour, scoring two goals in the space of a minute to turn a 1-0 defeat into a 2-1 win.
In February 2016, Louis van Gaal was reeling from a dip in form, an injury crisis afflicting 13 of his players and heading towards a humiliating Europa League elimination at the hands of Midtjylland before an unknown teenager named Marcus Rashford stepped up out of nowhere to inspire the team to a 5-1 win, then three days later scored twice against Arsenal.
Mason Greenwood broke into the team when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was deep in trouble during the 2019-20 season, scoring 10 goals between the end of November and the end of the campaign. Ralf Rangnick's knight in shining armour was Anthony Elanga, who scored off the bench to rescue a Champions League away draw with Atletico Madrid.
And amid an unexpectedly grim start to this season, Hannibal Mejbri has emerged as Erik ten Hag's secret weapon. The club may have spent close to £200 million ($244m) on new signings over the summer, but it is the Sideshow Bob lookalike who has caught the attention, breathing new life into a squad that looks increasingly jaded.