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Meet Shola Shoretire: Man Utd’s 17-year-old on bench vs Newcastle was born on Tyneside

Shola Shoretire is set to become Man United’s latest academy graduate after he was named on the bench against Newcastle.

The 17-year-old winger has long been thought of as a potential first team player by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

But his star has risen in recent weeks after he signed his first professional contract and netted a hat-trick for United’s Under-23s.

Alongside Amad Diallo, Joe Hugill and Hannibal Mejbri he is considered one of the club’s brightest young talents.

It is ironic that Shoretire’s first involvement in a Premier League matchday squad should come against Newcastle.

United youngster Shola Shoretire was named on the bench against Newcastle

Shoretire was born in the north east and represented the same Wallsend Boys Club as United coach Michael Carrick.

In an interview with Chronicle Live, his ex-coach David Ballantyne only had positive words to say about the youngster.

He said: “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.

“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.

Shoretire in action against Arsenal in Premier League 2
Shoretire in action against Arsenal in Premier League 2

“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.”

Things might’ve turned out differently for Shoretire had his parents not been offered jobs in Manchester.

The family uprooted from their Geordie homeland and Shoretire initially joined Manchester City’s academy.

He then moved he Red Devils at the age of 10 and became the youngest player to appear in the UEFA Youth League when he was 14.

Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength – and this season he has been a prominent member of United’s Premier League 2 side.

The winger has scored six goals and registered three assists in the competition to earn himself a crack at United’s first team.

He was involved in United's squad for the 4-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League
He was involved in United’s squad for the 4-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League

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Red Devils Under-23s coach Neil Wood said of Shoretire: “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.

“His work rate off the ball is excellent, he is the one chasing back and getting tight to people. You see the quality in his technique and his touches, he is comfortable receiving it in tight spaces, he can turn so quickly.

“It’s tough for him. He’s just turned 17 and he’s playing against some older lads and he’s had to find a way of coping and he’s done that really well.

Shoretire recently signed his first professional contract with Manchester United
Shoretire recently signed his first professional contract with Manchester United

“Looking back to the first game to now he’s done brilliant with that, he’s a talent and he’s one you have to be patient with and don’t expect too much too soon and let him develop and keep working.

“I think he’s very mature for his age, he’s not one spot of bother. He plays for the team, he knows the role he’s got to do to improve himself and he works his socks off every day.

“Anything I ask him to do he’s no problem and he will do it so yeah, I do think he’s very mature beyond his years and I think that’s helped him to settle in to playing 23s football and he’s always played with older players anyway.”

Shoretire was included in the squad for United’s Europa League victory over Real Sociedad but did not make it onto the pitch.

He can play in any position across the front line and is expected to follow in the foot steps of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood at Old Trafford.

READ MORE: Man Utd loanee Jesse Lingard offers hint to West Ham future after Tottenham win

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