Manchester United youngster Shola Shoretire made his debut for the club less than three weeks after his 17th birthday during the recent Premier League win over Newcastle, but his career could easily have been so different had Manchester City not released him at the age of 10.
Newcastle-born Shoretire started out with the famous Wallsend Boys Club that gave rise to legends like Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick and Steve Bruce, before joining Newcastle’s academy ranks. He then moved on to City, although his stay there was ultimately brief.
The Daily Mail reports that City made the decision to release Shoretire seven years ago after discovering that he had trained with Barcelona during a family holiday.
It is said that City had concerns and decided against keeping the player in their academy. Instead, the 10-year-old Shoretire crossed town to join United, where he rose through the ranks and signed his first professional contract earlier this month.
It has already been rumoured that Shoretire’s contract is one of the biggest ever handed to a player of his age and United are thought to have successfully fended off interest from Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich to get him to sign.
“It’s important that our kids know that when they’re good enough, they’re old enough. Shola has been training with us for a while, done really well and it was next step for him,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer commented after the Newcastle game.
“A few players went out on loan which made the path for him shorter,” the Norwegian added.
Shoretire is expected to remain in the United squad for this week’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad, which should be a dead rubber after a 4-0 win in the first leg. It could represent another opportunity to get on the pitch, with Amad Diallo also likely to get more minutes.