Newcastle United have had their fair share of success stories to come out of their St. James’ Park academy over the years.
Whilst current first-team players Paul Dummett and Sean Longstaff graduated from the system, the club also had joy in the past with famous names such as Paul Gascoigne and Andy Carroll.
However, some players have slipped through their grasp at youth level and ended up excelling elsewhere in their career. This has been the case so far with young midfielder Shola Shoretire, who is currently at Manchester United.
Since arriving at Old Trafford, he has caught the eye and been able to soar through the ranks to make his way into the first team.
He produced 16 goals and 14 assists in 43 games for the U23’s as he played across the frontline – on both flanks and in the number 10 role. This shows that he has excelled at youth level for the club and his form has earned him high praise.
Ex-Man United player Luke Chadwick previously hailed the youngster, saying: “He (Shoretire) is a hugely talented player.
“I watched him play in the youth team as an Under-16 player, he was so clever – fantastic awareness, knows how to play on the half turn, can see a pass as well. He’s so sharp in his mind and even if he doesn’t start a lot of matches yet, he can come on in games and make an impact.”
Similar sentiments are also held by talent scout Jacek Kulig who called the teenager a “huge talent” after analysing his performances.
At the time of writing (22/03/22), he is valued at £2.7m by Transfermarkt despite turning 18 last month. This is some rise from when he left St. James’ Park on a free and it now looks set to only be the beginning of what could be a fantastic career.
His performances have also earned him opportunities in the first team. He has already broken a record at senior level, becoming United’s youngest-ever player in European competition after he came on against Real Sociedad in the Europa League – aged 17 years and 23 days.
Since then, he has made three further appearances for the club – including two games in the Premier League last season. This shows that he has impressed the management enough for them to deem him worthy of being involved at such a young age, which speaks volumes of his work rate and his potential.
Instead of being one to watch at Old Trafford, he could have been lining up in black and white under Eddie Howe this season and showcasing his quality at first-team level. Dubbed as the ‘new Sancho’ it’s clear to see why the club may look back on this with regret and wonder what could have been as they fumbled him in 2014…