Joe Hugill insists he let Amad take a penalty on his Manchester United debut because he wanted to welcome him to the club in style.
The 18-year-old winger officially joined United last month following an agreement with Atalanta and made his first appearance for the club in a 6-3 win over Liverpool’s U23s.
Amad’s second goal was an audacious Panenka penalty, a moment of sheer confidence from the teenage winger but one which bemused first-team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
When the United manager was asked about Amad’s debut, he also praised Hugill’s performance but questioned why the 17-year-old, as a striker, let someone else take a penalty.
“Four goals by Hugill, he’s a top striker as well, we’re looking forward to seeing his development,” Solskjaer said. “Amad gets a good start and why Joe didn’t take the penalty himself to get five goals I’m going to ask him.”
The Sunderland-born forward has now revealed why he let Amad take the penalty.
“It was the first time I had met Amad!” Hugill told Secret Scout. “He really wanted the first pen (United were awarded two penalties in the match), and I was like ‘Nah, I’m going to have it!’ When you’re talking, you’re like ‘I need to score now.’
“You don’t want a massive argument as well because the other team will see that. I was on a hat-trick, so I had to take the first pen, and for the next one, as it was my first time meeting him, I wanted him to feel welcome!”
It was Hugill’s performance in that game which partly led to him being nominated for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award for January and he admits it was one of the most memorable matches he’s ever played in.
He added: “It was a crazy game. We went 2-0 up, Amad scored fourteen minutes in as well, then I scored. It ended up being 2-2 just before half-time, so they were the team on top. We just came out in the second half, went for it and scored six!
“As soon as the first one went in, I was like ‘I’m going to score again’, and when the next one went in, I was like ‘I’m going to score again!’ I just felt it! You can feel it go up your body when you kick the ball and you’re like ‘yeah!’
“You kind of develop it and work on it, but sometimes it’s just instinct – you just know what you’re doing and where to put it.”