Mention Manchester United's 'class of 2015' to someone and you will doubtless draw a quizzical look as if you have muddled your dates. If it isn't 1992 then it is 2011.

In years to come, however, the 2015 class might produce more first-team squad members than the 2011 of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.

During last year's first lockdown, a batch of pictures taken at United's Carrington training complex were added to the Getty archives, among them the class photo taken on the eve of the 2014-15 season.

On the back row, far left, is Scott McTominay, incongruously positioned as he waits for a growth spurt. Below him is a waifish Marcus Rashford and, in the middle, is an imposing Dean Henderson. Sat in front of him is Axel Tuanzebe.

Henderson, McTominay and Rashford are all but certain to start in Sunday's Manchester derby and Tuanzebe will be on the bench. City, with their magnificent academy complex a goal kick away from The Etihad, will have the frankly phenomenal Phil Foden to show from their return of British-bred prodigies.

Tosin Kehinde, possibly the shortest of the 18 'pupils' that July day at Carrington, made the step up to the reserves before McTominay, Rashford, Henderson and Tuanzebe. The Nigerian was still only 15 when Warren Joyce sent him on for James Wilson against Wolves in front of 572 fans at Molineux in March 2014.

The United youth team poses at Carrington in July 2014
The United youth team poses at Carrington in July 2014

Nigerian-born Kehinde appeared on Rashford's Instagram feed last month when the United forward uploaded a throwback post. The pair were joined by Tuanzebe and Jimmy Dunne - now at Burnley - at Ashton on Mersey School, presumably on leaver's day, going off the ink daubed onto their shirts.

Kehinde, now 22, commented with a love heart emoji from distant Denmark, where he moved in 2019 to join Randers following an unfulfilling period in Portugal with Feirense. Kehinde had not long recovered from contracting Covid-19 in December and started playing again when he was tagged by Rashford.

"It was mainly me, Marcus, Axel, Tyler Reid, Jimmy Dunne," he tells the Manchester Evening News via a WhatsApp call.

"We trained together every day, we went to school with each other every day. Me, Marcus and Axel were in most of the same lessons in school, so I spent most of my teenage life with them.

"They're all quite busy now but I check up on them every so often just to see how they're doing and tell them I'm proud of them.

"Honestly, I feel, individually, that youth team and group [in 2014-15], we all had great ability. You know not everybody is going to make it to the first-team but each of us in our own way had a quality that made you think if all goes well we'd do pretty well.

"The biggest thing for anybody when you go to a new club or a new environment is that people make you feel welcome, you don't have such a hard time integrating into a group."

Kehinde and United teammates line up ahead of their final Uefa Youth League game at Wolfsburg in 2015
Kehinde and United teammates line up ahead of their final Uefa Youth League game at Wolfsburg in 2015

Kehinde came to prominence in December 2017 when he was summoned from the academy building to train with the first-team. United had a sudden midfield shortage due to injuries and Pogba's suspension and Kehinde had been playing regularly for the Under-23s.

A League Cup quarter-final at Championship club Bristol City was looming but Jose Mourinho, a four-time winner in the competition, picked a formidable squad that was still vanquished by Corey Smith's added time winner.

"It wasn't a thing where it was nailed on," Kehinde says. "It was just like whenever they wanted to call people up and you were one of the people chosen.

"It would be mainly between [then academy head] Nicky Butt and the coaches, if they needed players for the training Nicky Butt and the coaches would decide among themselves who'd be sent over.

"It was good. Just training with the first-team in general shows you the level. You're at Manchester United, you're playing and the standard is very high.

"When you go to the first-team that goes up another gear. It was just an environment you wanted to be around all of the time, you wanted to be around amazing players and the speed of everything..."

Who was the most welcoming?

Kehinde coming up against Neco Williams at Anfield in 2018
Kehinde coming up against Neco Williams at Anfield in 2018

"Marcus, Jesse, Ashley Young, even Pogba. Pogba's really good with the young ones. If you're on his team, he'll help you in any way he can.

"He's just a nice guy."

Kehinde's exposure resulted in a meeting with the Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr in London to declare his commitment to the national team.

He was born in Lagos but moved to Manchester with his family at the age of six and has a special kinship with the city. Kehinde, a recipient of recent man of the match awards with Randers and linked to Queens Park Rangers in January, still harbours an ambition to break into the Nigeria squad.

"I do," he stresses. "I know it's something I'd like to do. I also know that I need to probably play at a bigger team to get that opportunity, I know it's something I'm definitely capable of and I do hope to achieve.

Kehinde celebrates scoring against Midtjylland on February 21
Kehinde celebrates scoring against Midtjylland on February 21

"You always want to see how far you can go and that's not always necessarily in your hands. Every summer and every winter is a time where you see what's on the table and you make a decision what's best for you. I'm happy here, so it all depends on what the summer brings.

"I'm enjoying my football, Randers is a nice club with nice people, so it makes it pretty easy to get on with playing. I chose to go to Denmark because I needed an opportunity to play, I went to Portugal under the belief it would be a pretty good opportunity for me to play in the Portuguese first division and it didn't quite work out that way.

"So after the first half of the season by December [in 2018] it wasn't looking like I would get much of an opportunity.

"I asked my brother, who's my agent, to see what he could find for me. Randers came into the picture, my brother explained how if you do well it could help and I thought it was a good opportunity for me to go over there and play."

Kehinde rejected the offer of a new contract from United to move to Portugal in the summer of 2018, conscious he had just turned 20 and was without a minute's experience of competitive football. United allowed Kehinde to use their facilities even though his contract had expired as talks continued over a possible renewal.

Kehinde, playing at Old Trafford
Kehinde, playing at Old Trafford

He was still on the premises when the academy and Under-23 players reported for pre-season training in July.

Eventually, United withdrew their terms as Kehinde mulled over his future and he had to leave Carrington for good.

"The decision I made to leave was mainly because I was 20 at the time and needed to go and get that experience of playing first-team football," Kehinde explains.

"Now I'm outside of the academy structure, I can say it's really, really important if you're not gonna be with the first-team all the time, it's really important for kids to go and get first-team experience.

Kehinde at the CFA in 2016
Kehinde at the CFA in 2016

"Coaches and scouts, the tag of Manchester United goes a long way but you have to remember when you're looking for clubs you're competing with people who have 50 league appearances, 100 league appearances, you're really up against it. Most managers are always more likely to trust the guy with experience, so for me I felt like I needed to go, experience it and that was the main reason.

"I think for your own development, it gets to a point where... how do I put it? It gets to a point where you will have learnt mostly what you're going to learn.

"If you look at things now with United, by 18, 19, 20, you're in around the first-team or whatever.

"For you, there's only so long. It's not like everybody in that age group doesn't have the potential but there are things that you can't learn in the Under-23s, unless you have the right people around you to put you on the right path. That makes it very difficult for you to get in the first-team.

"A lot of us at the time weren't being told by the people around us and the coaching staff at United do their best in teaching you what to do, but you have to do a lot of things outside, that maybe your family, your agent, need to make you focused to understand the criteria to make it into the first-team.

"I don't feel like all of us were fortunate at the time to have those people around us. For your own development, you might have to go away and figure it out for yourself.

"It's more of an individual thing. The academy is there to train you and give you the fundamentals and that gives everyone the same level of information.

"But that extra thing you need to get in the first-team has to come from yourself and give people the right information and everybody in the academy is doing the same things.

Kehinde left United in 2018
Kehinde left United in 2018

"It's the people that do the extra things that make it into the first-team and some didn't know that at the time or didn't have the information. We didn't have the people around us to tell us you need to do this as well as your training to push you over the edge.

"I still talk with the people at the club from time to time, there's no bad blood there, I didn't feel hard done by. They're all lovely people."

Among them is Joyce. McTominay downplayed United's supposedly gruelling pre-season in Australasia and Asia for he had experienced Joyce's boot camp and Kehinde empathises.

"At the time, as a kid, you didn't understand why his training was so hard!" he laughs.

"So difficult, so physically demanding, you didn't understand why.

Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were frustrated for the third goalless game in succession, dropping more points to allow Man City to streak away at the Premier League's summit, on a poor day for the forwards.

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"He used to have a laugh and a joke with you as he made you do all of the runs at the end of training, so you thought he was doing it to be annoying!

"Now I'm in men's football I know how physically demanding it is and how fit you have to be. It made you understand the demands of it, how much it takes, how much you have to put into it. He was a really good manager to have for that."

Joyce left United in 2016
Joyce left United in 2016

"Now I'm in men's football I know how physically demanding it is and how fit you have to be. It made you understand the demands of it, how much it takes, how much you have to put into it. He was a really good manager to have for that."

"Honestly, I don't think I'll ever forget pre-season with Joycey and our fitness coordinator. Oh man! Those two together - wow! That's all I'll say.

"As much as I feel Nigeria is my home, Manchester, England, is just as strong. I feel just as connected to Manchester.

"I miss it a lot. It seems like I haven't been back in forever."