18-year-old Dylan Levitt has been a mainstay in the table-topping Manchester U23 side so far this season, and having been called up to the Welsh national side for the second time for the last set of International fixtures, he is set to have a bright future.
Playing alongside James Garner in central midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, he has started all four of United’s U23 games this season, scoring once in a 5-0 win over West Brom U23s and providing two assists in the other games, making it a promising start to the season. He has also started in the 2-0 Leasing.com Trophy win at Rotherham, which was his first taste of football against senior opposition.
Style of Play:
He and Garner are expected to pick the ball up off the centre backs and dictate the attacks, a role he has slotted into very well. He is particularly comfortable on the ball, and is more than capable of playing out of tight situations. His small stature (1.79m) helps him, as his low centre of gravity makes him able to turn quickly and a handful for attackers looking to press him. Although this may potentially lead to issues as to whether he can adapt physically against certain sides, but when playing for a side looking to play out from the back and keep possession, this isn’t an issue.
He also possesses excellent ability on the ball to pick out long range passes, allowing him to either play around the press, or pick out teammates when given time and space. This vision is key to breaking teams down, and has been valuable this season in the final third for the U23s. An example below shows his assist against Newcastle, where he was able to pick out his teammate (circled) in between the two lines of Newcastle’s defence.
When in defence, he has shown his ability to press the opposition well, making himself a nuisance to opposition attackers with his energy, as well as tenacity to win the ball back. In United’s 4-2-3-1 formation, there is a large reliance upon Levitt to provide energy in midfield as the front four are much more attack orientated. The full backs also opt to push high to offer extra width, so any counter attacks from the opposition he needs to be able to deal with. As a result, his positioning in attacks is key, and in tandem with Garner, an understanding of when to push further forward is required. He has shown in these opening games that he is more than capable of filling this role, and the more football he plays at this level, the more this side of his game will develop.
Playing 14 times for the U18s last season, he scored 5 goals and assisted a further 6, and was often used as a deep, central midfielder, making these stats even more impressive. It was after the turn of the year where he started appearing for the U23s, and after a slow start in a young side, they have built a side capable of winning promotion this season, something Levitt will be able to contribute towards.
Slotting in alongside the more physical and very talented Garner will definitely have helped his progression, and exposure to playing against older, more physically developed players will only aid his own development further. Garner and Levitt are forming a strong partnership at U23 level, and with the attacking threat in front of them, such as Tahith Chong and D’Mani Mellor it allows Levitt to play his natural game and dictate the tempo, whilst as discussed before, having the vision to pick out his teammates at ease.
Capped 14 times at U19 level for Wales, his call up to the national team was a little surprising, however does show how highly thought of he is in the International set up. Called up in May despite on playing nine U23 games, he was once again called up for the games against Azerbaijan and Belarus, and if he continues his impressive progression for the U23s, a senior appearance for both Manchester United and Wales can’t be far away. With opportunities awaiting in the Leasing.com Trophy against Doncaster and Lincoln, an EFL cup tie against Chelsea on the horizon and the start of the Europa League campaign, it won’t be long until he makes the squad.