Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo reboot classic photo (2024)

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Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo reboot classic photo (6)
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    It was the most memorable photo of the 2023/24 season: Manchester United's young guns, Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, sat on the Old Trafford advertising hoardings, beaming smiles etched across their faces.

    The trio have since reprised the instantly famous pic at The Cliff, our former training ground, to help promote the release of our delightful new adidas home kit for 2024/25, which is out today.

    But where did it all start? Well, the pose was first unfurled when Garnacho scored in front of the Stretford End to double our advantage in the Premier League fixture against West Ham United on Sunday 4 February.

    However, it was in the reverse fixture, in December of last year, when the story really began.

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    The Reds lost 2-0 at the London Stadium that day, and Hammers forward Mohammed Kudus sat on the hoardings after scoring his team's second goal.

    Fast-forward a few months, and the same scoreline was this time in favour of Erik ten Hag's men, and Garnacho decided to give West Ham a little taste of their own medicine.

    But when Hojlund and Mainoo raced to join the Argentinian international, the moment caught the zeitgeist in a way that transcended the match itself. Following our 3-0 victory, the images exploded around the world, being viewed millions of times.

    It had been a difficult campaign for our men's senior side, but the young triumvirate were quickly emerging as beacons of hope for a better future.

    Hojlund was in the midst of his best scoring run of the season, and was the first to find the net in that West Ham game, while Mainoo's maiden Premier League strike a ridiculous solo winner at Wolves– arrivedjust three days prior.

    Garnacho, meanwhile, had started every game since late October. In November, he'd netted what would become the Premier League Goal of the Season: a sizzling overhead kick against Everton at Goodison Park.

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    The photo would prove somewhat prophetic too: while United's struggles continued in the final months of the league season, a small but significant portion of the hope it offered was delivered at Wembley in our last fixture of 2023/24.

    Garnacho and Mainoo both netted as Manchester City were defeated by two goals to one in the Emirates FA Cup final the first time two teenagers had scored in the legendary competition's showpiece match.

    And though Hojlund didn't make the starting XI, he came on to great effect, memorably barrelling forward in added time to win a vital free-kick that took United right up to the finishing line.

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    That day in the capital means that, ahead of 2024/25, the photo still symbolises optimism for a brighter future.

    And after that West Ham game in February, manager Ten Hag said he shared in the fan positivity around Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo.

    "The future for Manchester United is very good because we have so many [young players] with high potential," Ten Hag told the media. "I think that picture encompasses a lot and, when they are together, that is how we want to play football, with that adventure. They can achieve high levels.

    "Every game, it looks like they are growing, they are improving and adapting to a higher level. That is what we need at Manchester United. With that celebration, I liked it. It is showing we are doing it [with] togetherness."

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    Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo reboot classic photo (8)

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    Joe Ganley

    Monday 01 July 2024 14:30

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