MANCHESTER UNITED have announced that academy defender Ben Hockenhull has joined Championship club Brentford.
The 18-year-old has joined the Bees reserve side on a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
Hockenhull has been at United since he was nine years old and featured 22 times for the Under-18s side over the last years.
The Red Devils had extended his contract to December after the Academy season was ended early due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
And United have now helped Hockenhull secure the move to promotion-chasers Brentford following interest from a variety of clubs.
The club’s B head coach Neil MacFarlane said: “First and foremost, Ben is coming from a top football club. He’s somebody that has fantastic presence on the pitch.
We think there is lots more development in Ben and he will be a great addition to the squad.
“As a centre-back, size is important in English football, but he’s got much more to his game than that.
“He’s fantastic on the ball and in possession, and with us being a possession-based team, that will stand him in good stead.
“We think there is lots more development in Ben and he will be a great addition to the squad.
“I’ve met Ben and his family, they are fantastic people, and that’s a big thing at this football club in that we bring in good characters. Ben is very level-headed and has got real drive and passion to do well at Brentford.”
Hockenhull will link up with Brentford B from 27 July, a day after the senior side will be competing in the Championship play-offs at Swansea.
The west Londoners narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League this season following a 2-1 loss to Barnsley on the final day.
A United club statement read: “Everybody at Manchester United would like to wish Ben well for the future following his departure.”