Young Nigerian striker Shola Shoretire has signed a deal with Manchester United, committing his future to the Old Trafford club. Shola who is eligible to represent Nigeria and England has signed scholarship forms with Manchester United until next year when he turns to a professional Man United player, rejecting the advances of many European clubs that wanted his signature.
Shoretire was fully promoted to United’s U18 team before the beginning of this season and has appeared in 12 matches in the U18 Premier League. Wonderkid Shola Shoretire has been likened to Jay-Jay Okocha and played for the Under-19 team aged just 14
Last week, it was revealed that Shoretire, who only turned 16 last month, had already signed schoolboy terms, as well as a pre-contract to turn professional with the club.
The diminutive teen, comfortable with both feet, can play out wide and through the middle. It’s a testament to his ability that United are already confident he has the ability to succeed at the highest level by offering him a contract this early in his life.
Shoretire joined Manchester United’s youth set-up at the age of 10 from Newcastle and has blossomed since his arrival. Last week, he scored his first-ever goal at Old Trafford – opening the scoring against Wigan Athletic and firing United into the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
Amusiingly, earlier in the day he was studying for his GCSEs.
“He was at school today, all day! Then he came over to Old Trafford to play,” Under-18 coach Neil Ryan revealed.
“It’s incredible really. Different day for him compared to other players.”
Shoretire is one of a number of promising United youngsters coming through the ranks
UEFA YOUTH LEAGUE HISTORY
Shoretire appeared at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland at the age of 13 in 2017. But he came to the fore last season when he made history. Aged just 14 years and 314 days he came on as a sub in United’s 2-1 win over Valencia, and became the youngest player to appear in the UEFA Youth League – a competition reserved for Under-19 teams.
“We want to keep them humble, hard-working,” Ryan explained.
“It’s not just the coaching staff who do that, there are a number of staff throughout the academy, right throughout the place, feeding the same messages. It’s what we pride ourselves on.
“When you see the professionalism of the likes of Marcus Rashford, he’s the shining example. Scott McTominay, so on. These boys are products of the academy and the staff who work with them. They are our examples.
“Good players can enjoy the big stage. [Shoretire] is a really exciting player. He’s evolving and developing, can play a number of different positions, he showed a great maturity I thought.”
Although he was born in Africa, Shoretire has been invited to join England’s juniors in 2018. At the age of 16, with the world at its feet, decisions on who he could represent can wait for now. But his first step is to conquer United.