Shola Shoretire made his Manchester United debut Sunday night against Newcastle in the Premier League.
The youngster, who turned 17 on February 2, recently signed a new deal with the club and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems keen to introduce him to the first team.
Marcus Rashford made way for Shoretire in the second half with scores at 3-1 and the substitution saw the Nigerian-by-name become the seventh youngest player to make his debut for Manchester United.On top of that, he becomes the 240th Man United Academy graduate to reach the first team.
Shoretire has long been an up-and-coming player at Manchester United but the youngster is no longer a talent under the radar.
Shoretire has burst onto the scene at United in recent weeks, scoring a hat-trick for the Under-23 side in a recent win over Blackburn, signing his first professional contract and being included in the first-team squad for the first time, all within the first few weeks of February.
Shoretire is one the most exciting talents on the fringes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s side.
Shoretire has been with United since the age of 10, but he started his career at Newcastle United.
He was a member of the famous Wallsend Boys Club and the Magpies’ academy, while he also did extra sessions with former Newcastle academy coach David Ballantyne at Feet4Football on Tyneside.
“There’s always one or two you just think ‘Wow, yeah – he’s got a real chance of being a player’ and Shola was one of them,” Ballantyne told Chronicle Live.
“I can count on one hand how many I’ve said that about. To me, Shola was like a young Micah Richards at seven and eight, he was athletic, so quick and just so strong.
“He was like a ready-made athlete. He was phenomenal and just so quick. That stood out – he just had that natural speed. But no one could get him off the ball as well, he had that strength, and he was light, quickness of feet, light on his feet.”
Shoretire moved to Manchester when his parents were offered jobs in the city.
“I was initially frustrated that Newcastle lost out on one of their own, but it was a scenario that couldn’t be helped with his parents being offered jobs down in the Manchester area which they had to take,” Clark wrote for Tribal Football . “Unfortunately there’s nothing Newcastle could have done about that.”
Shoretire initially joined Manchester City’s academy before switching to United at the age of 10. Since then his career has been on an upward trajectory.
At the age of just 14 he made history, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in the UEFA Youth League in December 2018.
Shoretire came off the bench for the final 15 minutes for United’s Under-19s as they came from behind to beat Valencia 2-1 in Spain.
According to United’s Under-23s manager Neil Wood, that situation was far from a one-off – Shoretire has been playing with older age groups his whole career.
“What impresses me the most is he is a very technical player,” Wood said in December. “Shola has always played up a year through his whole academy career. I can’t remember him ever playing his own age group. He has always been stretched.
“He is very mature for his age, the way he plays, he does a lot of work, takes a lot of positions up, and he has played a lot of roles. He’s played [Number] 9, he’s played left, he’s played on the right, he’s played 10 and whatever you ask him to do – on and off the ball – he is going to do it. You can trust him to do that job.”
This season is when it all clicked into place for Shoretire, who has scored six goals and registered three assists for the U23s in 14 appearances in Premier League 2.
His hat-trick for the U23s in their 6-4 win over Blackburn on February 5 attracted wider attention and led Wood to shower the youngster with praise.
Name: Shola Shoretire
Date of birth: February 2, 2004
Strongest foot: Right
Shirt number: 74