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Michael Owen and Ian Wright react to Shola Shoretire's Manchester United debut

Metro logo Metro 22/02/2021 Metro Sport Reporter
a group of football players on a field: Shola Shoretire came on for his Manchester United debut against Newcastle (Picture: Getty) © Provided by Metro Shola Shoretire came on for his Manchester United debut against Newcastle (Picture: Getty)

Michael Owen backed debutant Shola Shoretire to have a ‘long and successful career’ after Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Newcastle and said the youngster has always had a ‘cracking attitude’ and ‘real enthusiasm’ about the game.

a group of football players on a field: Marcus Rashford is replaced by Shola Shoretire in Manchester United's Premier League win over Newcastle © Metro Sport Reporter Marcus Rashford is replaced by Shola Shoretire in Manchester United's Premier League win over Newcastle

Shoretire has been tipped for a bright future at Old Trafford for some time and replaced Marcus Rashford in the 89th minute to make his first-team debut at the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday evening.

The appearance carried extra meaning for the 17-year-old given he’s a born-and-bred Geordie and came through Newcastle’s ranks before switching to the Red Devils’ academy back in 2014.

Owen, who also represented both clubs during his playing career, congratulated Shoretire on making the breakthrough and revealed his memories of the teenager as he analysed United’s victory with Ian Wright.

a man in a dark shirt: Shola Shoretire looks on before Manchester United's Premier League clash with Newcastle © Metro Sport Reporter Shola Shoretire looks on before Manchester United's Premier League clash with Newcastle

‘He was two, three years up and scoring hat-tricks and fours and fives. He was fantastic,’ the former England striker told Premier League Productions.

‘Inevitably, the older you get the more and more difficult it gets but it’s great to see him progressing well.

‘He’s got a cracking attitude. He’s always been quite small, quite stocky. Very, very brave, though, and loads of energy, a real enthusiasm about the game.

‘So it’s great to see him getting his chance and I hope he’s going to have a long and successful career.’

a man in a dark shirt: Shoretire has long been tipped for future stardom (Picture: Getty) © Provided by Metro Shoretire has long been tipped for future stardom (Picture: Getty)

Wright said it was testament to United that they continue to provide opportunities to academy graduates, with Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson, Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood also starring for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team.

‘It’s what United have done all the way down the years,’ the iconic ex-Arsenal forward said.

‘They bring them young players through and they’ll get through to the first-team and it’s a ripple effect down to let you know you’ve got a chance even at a club of this stature.

‘When you look at Amad as well, we’re talking about somebody who has come across. He’s played in Serie A, played in the Under-23s and they’ve instantly, after a couple of games, they’ve brought him into the first-team squad.

‘It’s the same with Shoretire. We’re talking about exceptional players that Manchester United seem to be able to produce and get them to the first-team.

‘It’s testament to Manchester United, a club of that size with the capabilities they’ve got and the money that they still are bringing through top young player. Credit to them.’

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