Nigerian-born prospect Shola Shoretire is set to sign his first professional contract with Manchester United, snubbing the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Regarded as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe for his age, the 17-year-old will sign his deal this week, which is understood to underline just how much he is valued by United.
Shoretire, although only turned 17 on Tuesday, February 2, has been featuring for United’s Under23s, has trained with the first ream and is expected to break into Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad this season despite the competition for places in his position.
United’s Under23 coach Neil Wood said in 2020 about Shoretire: “What impresses me the most is he is a very technical player.
“Shola has always played up a year through his whole academy career. I can’t remember him ever playing his own age group. He has always been stretched.”
Born in Nigeria, Shoretire was raised in Newcastle, United Kingdom and cites former Barcelona striker Ronaldinho as his idol. He plays off the left wing but is comfortable on the right or behind the striker.
He made his UEFA Youth League debut as a 14-year-old, the youngest ever for United, and has starred in the FA Youth Cup prompting interest from Europe’s biggest clubs who were keen to convince him he would have a better pathway to first team football with them.
Shoretire was convinced to build his career at United after speaking with Michael Owen, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
Quick with good balance and an eye for goal, he now hopes to follow fellow academy stars Greenwood and Rashford to the next level.
If Shoretire breaks into Solskjaer’s squad this season, he’d be the second Nigerian player after Odion Ighalo to star for United at senior level.