Max Taylor
Max Taylor
Photo Credit: Max Taylor/Twitter

Manchester United have struggled immensely under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, most recently drawing 3-3 with newly-promoted Sheffield Utd, but at the least, they continue to blood youngsters into the first-team.

One of the latest to come through the ranks is Max Taylor, who features among a host of youngsters called up to the squad for Thursday's Europa League match against Astana.

With United's qualification to the knockout rounds already assured, Solskjaer is expected to make numerous changes to his playing XI, meaning Taylor could make his first-team debut a little over a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

It looks to be the first step in what should be a promising career for the Utd youngster.

Taylor had been moved into the U-23 side ahead of the 2018-19 season as he was expected to make the step up to a tougher division. But tragedy struck soon after, when he pulled up during a training session complaining of pain when sprinting. He fell ill shortly after, and scans revealed that he had contracted testicular cancer, which had spread to his lymph nodes.

His career seemed to have been cut short before it even began. He went into chemo, and couldn't play for months. Once the chemotherapy cleared the cancer cells, he was required to undergo surgery to cut out dead tissue - something Taylor said was "quite a risky operation". He was finally declared cancer-free in February of this year.

He returned to training on September 18, telling United's website: "I feel immensely proud and happy to be back on the training pitch with my team-mates and friends. Without the invaluable support of my family, team-mates and, of course, the nurses and doctors, my return to training at this stage would not have been possible

He spoke to MUTV recently, opening up on his experience, and telling them "I don't want it to define me. I'd rather it be a part of me and then whether it's my football or how I am as a person, all combines to define me. I don't want it to be a case of it's the cancer that defines me.

"Next is I'm planning to get regular football, whether it be in the under-23s or on loan or whatever. My ultimate goal is to play for the first team here."

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