LUKE - THE NEW STAR IN UNITED'S EMPIRE
By Phill Othen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
It is a structure that has already seen the likes of Ryan Giggs, the Neville brothers, Wes Brown, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham infiltrate into the first team and subsequently their respective international sides. Ironically enough, it was the latter of these who was the man surprisingly dropped so Chadwick could play in the week.
Beckham was forced to watch from the bench on Tuesday night, as Chadwick belied his inexperience with an impressive display. Resembling a youthful Alan Ball with his socks around his ankles, Chadwick s endless running and skill on the ball was there for all to see - including Beckham.
Chadwick may have started just three Premiership games in 2000-01, but his last outing was perhaps his most promising yet. Within 20 minutes of coming on against Leeds at half-time, the former United trainee latched onto a mistake by Nigel Martyn to slide home the second goal of his career.
For those who are interested, the first goal came against Bradford when Chadwick showed intelligent running to find space in the penalty area, and he drilled the ball past Gary Walsh in the Bantams goal.
The hard-working midfielder was on loan at Royal Antwerp for the majority of 1999-2000, and clearly the experience of playing regular first-team football has installed confidence in the youngster. Chadwick finds a team-mate with three-quarters of his passes - better than Teddy Sheringham, Mickael Silvestre or Giggs - and has laid through six defence-splitting balls to date.
But most noticeable of all is Chadwick s seemingly tireless running. Before the Sturm Graz game, United s latest star had embarked on 18 dribbles and runs in only 117 minutes of Champions League football.
Indeed, Chadwick actually sets off on a dribble/run every 6.5 minutes in the competition - the most frequent of all players in the Champions League including team-mate Giggs, Luis Figo and Marc Overmars.
So with the confidence to take defenders on, along with an eye for goal, Chadwick seems set for the big time. Beckham and company may well start looking over their shoulders in years to come as the United upstarts look to upstage the (then) old hands.