Hearing ‘Manchester United’ and ‘wonderkid’ in the same sentence has become somewhat overplayed in the last several years, with many failing to meet the expectation.
Shola Shoretire is different, however. The 17-year-old is one of many teenage starlets currently plying their trade in United’s academy, following a club restructuring that has tried to recruit young talent and allow them to flourish with the Red Devils once again.
As with every player in his situation, the hype surrounding Shoretire is massive – even more so because he has just agreed to professional terms with the club.
But who actually is he? Here’s everything you should know about Shoretire.
Shoretire has already made a name at European youth level; he became the youngest player ever to turn out in the UEFA Youth League in 2018, aged just 14 years, 10 months and 10 days old.
The record has since been broken by Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko (14 years, nine months, 28 days) but it remains an incredible and telling feat.
Described by United Under-23s coach Neil Wood as ‘a very technical player’ Shoretire’s incredible ability for his age has allowed him to thrive wherever he has been deployed.
Primarily operating as a right winger for United’s Under-23s this season, Shoretire has also featured on the left flank, as the striker and even in a deeper, advanced midfield role.
His positional versatility hasn’t been without success, either. The teenager has managed five goals and three assists from 15 games this season, including a hat-trick against Blackburn.
A reminder that this is in the Under-23s, an age group well beyond his years considering he only turned 17 at the beginning of February 2021. According to The Athletic, he is expected to move up again and train with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team imminently.
Shoretire has already turned out for England at youth level and has played most recently for the Under-16 side.
With the way he’s developing and smashing down barriers at club level, however, it might not be long before he’s knocking on the door of more advanced groups such as the 18s and 21s.
Shoretire has sought advice from both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford in the wake of him agreeing professional terms at United, which is understandable considering their respective breakthroughs.
He actually named Rashford as his inspiration in a YouTube interview with Harry Pinero, but also namedrops Ronaldinho and mentions being in conversation with Michael Owen.
Not a bad network of people to call for advice, that.