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Sunday, January 29, 2023

18-year-old playmaker included in Manchester United first team training with Lisandro Martinez

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was a big advocate for giving chances to young players at Ajax and he has been keen to use them in his training sessions at Manchester United.

Ten Hag has already selected Charlie McNeill and Alejandro Garnacho for United’s first team in competitive games, while Zidane Iqbal, Rhys Bennett, Kobbie Mainoo, Shola Shoretire and Tyler Fredricson have all made matchday squads.

Shoretire was one of the Manchester United youngsters involved in the first team training session on Wednesday as Lisandro Martinez made his return, in pictures released in a training gallery on the club website.

Mainoo, Bennett and Iqbal were all involved along with Garnacho, who at this point is simply a ‘first team regular’.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Shola Shoretire waiting for his chance

Shoretire has made the matchday squad three times this season, each in November, once in the EFL Cup, once in the Europa League and once in the Premier League.

He is still waiting for minutes; these last came back in December 2021 when United took on Young Boys in the Champions League.

Shoretire made his debut in February 2021 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, becoming the seventh youngest Manchester United player of all time to make his first team bow.

Still only 18, the young playmaker is a regular for the under-21s, leading the side for goals and assists last season with 20 combined (nine goals and 11 assists).

This season he is also the team’s top contributor, leading the under-21s with five goals and three assists.

He did get some action with the first team against Real Betis and Cadiz in December – but it could be that a loan is the best way for Shoretire to kick on in 2023.

First team opportunities are still a long-shot for the England under-19 international, and while it’s encouraging to see him involved with the squad in training sessions, a successful loan could propel his development forward.

United may want to keep him as extra depth given the lack of attacking options, and a ‘what if Bruno Fernandes gets injured’ scenario, but it’s very possible that Shoretire’s camp will be keen on exploring a loan move if an offer comes his way.

Shola Shoretire player profile

  • Full name: Shola Maxwell Shoretire
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 2nd February 2004
  • Citizenship: England, Nigeria
  • Place of birth: Newcastle
  • Position: Attacking midfield

Dan is a Manchester United supporter who has worked in online publishing for more than 10 years. He writes exclusively for United In Focus, leading the site’s growth in news, analysis and match coverage, and is also head of sport content for GRV Media.

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