Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Shola Shoretire’s development at Manchester United has accelerated following the departures of players in the January transfer window.
Shoretire only turned 17 on February 2 but came on for his United debut in the 89th minute of their Premier League win against Newcastle, where he left to join the United academy.
United let forwards Jesse Lingard and Facundo Pellistri leave on loan for West Ham United and Alaves in the winter window and Shoretire joined the first-team training bubble earlier this month.
The teenager was an unused substitute in the midweek Europa League thrashing of Real Sociedad and injuries to Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani enabled Shoretire to stay in the squad. Solskjaer managed to get Shoretire on with United 3-1 up in the dying embers against Newcastle
“It’s in our DNA, it’s what we do at Man United,” Solskjaer said. “And it’s important our kids know when they’re good enough they’re old enough.
“Shola has been training with us now for a little while, and has done really well, it was the next step up. In the last transfer window we let a few players go out on loan, which made the path for him shorter.
“And I’m sure he’ll remember his five or six minutes on the pitch tonight.”
United’s preparations for the Newcastle match were affected by the majority of their coaching staff having to self-isolate due to a Covid-19 outbreak. Solskjaer’s assistant, Mike Phelan, first-team coaches Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Martyn Pert, as well as the goalkeeping coaches Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson, were not present at Old Trafford.
Third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant and young goalie Nathan Bishop oversaw the goalkeepers’ warm-ups while development coaches Nicky Butt and Mark Dempsey assisted Solskjaer during the game.
“We’ve got good staff elsewhere, so of course it was a bit of a different preparation for the boys but in the situation we’re in we’ve got to be ready for that,” Solskjaer added. “We did that as a precaution and we’ll just have to follow protocols.”