Joe Rothwell has been tipped for success by both Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher, two Manchester United midfielders who made their way through the youth system into the first team.
Speaking to MUTV before the Under-21 Barclays Premier League final, Fletcher backed Rothwell to build on the success of this season. Rothwell was unfortunate to miss out on that game through injury, a feeling echoed by Fletcher.
“It’s unfortunate Joe missed out because he’s got great energy and has been the one that’s really surprised me in the Under-21s this season,” he said.
“He’s improved all year and, by coming up against him in training, I know how much quality he has got. Once he develops physically, I think we’re going to have a good player on our hands.”
Rothwell, who had a couple of years where he struggled with injuries, enjoyed a good season with 23 games at both Under-19 and Under-21 levels and chipped in with a quality goal in each competition.
Scholes was talking to ‘Beyond the Pitch’ a couple of months ago about youth players who could potentially join the preseason tour and having mentioned James Wilson, he said: “There’s a midfield player as well called Joe Rothwell who is doing very well.”
Fletcher also went on to liken Rothwell’s situation to that of Jesse Lingard‘s by calling him ‘a late bloomer’. Lingard recently revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson told him to be patient and that with his development he’d be on course for a spot in United’s first team at around 22.
“Joe’s a little bit like Jesse Lingard,” Fletcher added.
“I know the [former] manager spoke about him and said we might not see the best of Jesse in the first team until maybe his early 20s. I think we’ve got the same situation with Joe.”
With a great season under his belt in United’s academy sides, Rothwell deserves plaudits and seeing as there will be so many United players recovering from World Cup duty, he might get an opportunity to go on the pre-season tour.