Former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov insists the hard work for Shola Shoretire starts now if the midfielder wants to carve out a career for himself at Old Trafford.
The 17-year-old made his debut for the club in a 3-1 win against Newcastle United last weekend and there’s considerable excitement behind the scenes at the Theatre of Dreams that the club have unearthed another homegrown gem.
United have fastracked the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood into the first team in recent years, while they boast an enviable record of having an academy product in every matchday squad since 1937.
The club have high hopes that Shoretire is the next on the carousel but Berbatov says the midfielder now needs to work even harder to stay at the club, even after making his debut.
‘It is a great moment for a player at 17 to make his debut at Old Trafford. He must have shown something in training and the youth teams which made that happen,’ said Berbatov, who is an ambassador for Betfair.
‘He has made the first step and now the difficult thing is to show Ole and the coaching staff that he can back that up. He has to prove he belongs there. He just needs to keep pushing and show himself in the eyes of the coaching staff.
‘In Shola’s situation, you must train like your life depends on it. You need to show everyone that you are here and are waiting for your moment. You should never take your eyes away from the prize. ‘People come up to me and say: “I remember watching you when I was little.”
It always makes me think about how many years have passed and how old I am. ‘Now I realise I had played in a Champions League final before Shoretire was born! However, for Shola he is at Manchester United and he just needs to keep it up.’