Man United were aware of the hype surrounding Shola Shoretire when he was just 14, but looked away from the ball

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Manchester United have an almost unassailable overall 4-0 lead against Real Sociedad and will travel to Chelsea three days after their Europa League round of 16 second leg

Their starting XI is ripe for rotation so the regulars can rest and Amad and Shola Shoretire, last week’s teenage debutants, are sure to be on the bench again this week as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the unusual decision to confirm their roles four days in advance

“Probably not, Shola and Amad, no,” he replied when asked if either could start. “I’m not sure that would be right for them, they will be in the team “

A start for Shoretire, who was just 17 three weeks ago, has always looked fanciful despite having only just been cleared to start driving lessons

Amad, 18, has played 89 minutes of competitive football in Italy and England, and is a teenager trying to settle in a new country on lockdown amid a pandemic He is transported to to and from Carrington in a van as a child taking the bus to school, residing in a generally busy but currently lifeless city center

It would be remiss of Solskjaer not to give the Ivorian substantial playing time, especially with United so limited in attack

Shoretire’s development has accelerated due to the departures of Jesse Lingard and Facundo Pellistri on loan, and Under-23 coach Neil Wood stressed earlier this month that it was’ too early ” for Shoretire to start a loan

Shoretire’s internship might not extend to a day trip to London this weekend if one of Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani recovers Shoretire is almost two-thirds of the way path of his first season with the Under-23s and is almost guaranteed, provided he is released from the first team bubble He was absent for Monday night’s game at Everton

In July 2018, United asked MEN to tell a story after this correspondent reported that Shoretire was included in the academy’s pre-season squad’s trip to Austria It was a saving measure to protect a 14-year-old boy under Nicky Butt in Obertraun when the squad was mostly U23 and U18

Five months later, Shoretire became the youngest UEFA Youth League player at 14 years and 314 days against Valencia and the cat was out of the bag

“I think he’s very mature for his age,” Wood said after Shoretire scored a hat-trick in the 6-4 win over Blackburn earlier this month “He’s not a problem. He plays for the team, he knows the role he needs to play in order to improve and he works his socks every day

“Anything I ask him to do is no problem and he will, yes I think he is very mature beyond his years and I think that has helped him s ‘settling into football at 23 and he’s always played with older players Anyway

“He’s always been tense in a certain way, he’s never had it at his age and he’s been the main guy and the standout, that he could easily have been in academy if he was. he was playing his own age group He’s used to it and it probably helped him along the way and he’s now taken it to another level

“I hope he can continue and continue working and let’s see if he can show what he can do with his football”

Protecting academy players is particularly critical following the tragic case of Jeremy Wisten, the 18-year-old former Manchester City teammate who was found hanged in his family home in October

Coroner Zak Golombeck said he read Wisten’s stint at City and an injury that would have led him to leave the club in 2019 M Golombeck said: “He was someone who clearly had incredible talent as a footballer”

M Golombeck added that he would order a witness statement from City “regarding the time Jeremy spent there as an academy player and also the time leading up to and following his release from the football club, retailer, the where applicable, the support that was given to him both from the period before and after his release “

Of concern to coaches and youth player representatives is the adulation they are now getting on social media. A source who works with teenage footballers described Instagram as a “ big deal ” due to the ease with which it is to promote young footballers and to have access to them via the platform’s direct messaging service

England Under-18 coach Kevin Betsy did a Q&A with an agency’s youngest clients last year and begged players not to be distracted by the attention some accounts have grant them A former England international in garland recently messaged a 16-year-old with the intention of convincing him to change agencies

United, infamous for denying senior and junior level players access for decades, have been powerless to stop some of their brightest youngsters – Shoretire among them – from conducting interviews with Instagrammers

Shoretire’s conversation with a YouTuber was reignited by some academy teammates, one of whom was later criticized for doing an interview before signing him with United or his management United prevented another player from the academy to do something similar

United must get their own house in order if they are to discourage this culture One of the club’s marketing staff appears to have a mandate to get influencers to model United merchandise and has sounded the conversation of l ‘influencer with Shoretire – carried out when the player was only 16

The same marketing clerk blocked a newspaper from talking to players during the 2018 launch of the pink kit outdoors, ironically designed to celebrate the newspapers

United Under-18 captain Teden Mengi laid a wreath in memory of Wisten ahead of the FA Youth Cup semi-final in October, a gesture suggested by the players United academy director Nick Cox said it had ‘had a real impact on young men at both clubs’

Shoretire will have to develop coping mechanisms and will be given time by Protector Solskjaer, a man who knows the merits of watching from the bench

Shola Shoretire

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