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Nigeria’s Shoretire named Manchester United’s Young Player of the Year

The 17-year-old was the leading scorer for the Red Devils in Premier League 2 with 10 goals

Nigerian descent Shola Shoretire has been honoured as Manchester United’s Young Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season.

The forward only turned 17 in February and he ended the Premier League 2 campaign as top scorer in Neil Wood’s side with 10 goals in 21 appearances.

Aside from impressing in the youth league, Shoretire earned himself a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team after his 17th birthday on February 2.

He made his Premier League debut against Newcastle United on February 21 and four days later, he became the youngest player to play for Manchester United in a European competition, after he replaced Mason Greenwood in their goalless draw against Real Sociedad. 

The Anglo-Nigerian joins Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford on the winner’s list and he described the award as a joy for him.

“It means a lot to me and I’m sure it means a lot to my family as well,” Shoretire told the club website. “Especially with the history of the award and the players who have won it before me.

“I feel very proud to have won it and very thankful to everyone who has helped me to achieve it.

“Looking at the trophy today and seeing Ryan Giggs has won it twice, Wes Brown, some of the recent ones as well like Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Angel Gomes, seeing them and seeing I’m on the same path that they were on as well, shows how well United are doing through the Academy and getting people into the first team.

“I think, at the start of the season, it was a big step for me, going from the Under-18s to the Under-23s.

“But I think, with my teammates’ help in training and welcoming me into the team, that’s really helped me kick on with the Under-23s to have a successful season. So it’s also thanks to them that they’ve helped me progress into first-team training so I am very thankful to my teammates in the Under-23s.”

Meanwhile, Solskjaer has confirmed that youngsters Shoretire and Hannibal might feature when Manchester United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers for their last Premier League match of the season as key first-team players might be rested for their Uefa Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26. 

“They’ve had good seasons. Both of them. Hannibal and Shola, both of them will be involved. Maybe we can get some minutes in them,” the Norwegian coach said.

“We want to go into the [Europa League] final with lots of energy but also confidence, so we will freshen up a few faces on Sunday.

“We want to enjoy it and give a few minutes to some who might need it before the final.”

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