Manchester United’s Ben Pearson has insisted he is happy to wait for his chance to become a first team player at Old Trafford and has no intention of leaving any time soon.
In the past few years, United have lost the likes of Paul Pogba and Mats Moller Daehli because they didn’t get first team opportunities quickly enough and there was a worry that their departures could set an unwanted precedent of talented midfielders leaving before they are blooded into the first team.
However Pearson, who has now been at United for a decade, said he had no intention of leaving and understands that the nature of football now means that youngsters have to wait a bit longer for their chances.
“I’m a big United fan,” he told Manutd.com.
“I need to play games and try to impress in them. I’ll see what happens from there really but I need to aim to move up in the coming years. You never know, it may be a good time for me as I could get a chance like Adnan Januzaj did. He’s taken it and pushed on from there.
“I accept the way these days, instead of throwing youngsters in, is to take more time and send them out on loan to get experience before trying them out. But you never know – Adnan didn’t go out on loan so it might just be a case of getting a chance and taking it at the right time.”
Last season Pearson was fantastic for United and won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award. He has since gone on to make some impressive appearances for the Under-19s side and now that a host of players have left the club on loan, is starting to appear on a regular basis for the Under-21s, something he is keen to continue doing.
He added: “I played against Tottenham at Old Trafford [in the final] and just hope I can kick on this year and see what happens in terms of any game time coming up.
“A few people have gone out on loan and I’ve been waiting since the start of the season because we had a massive squad. Hopefully I get more games and progress but we’ll see. Darren Fletcher played a few games in that squad but he’s back with the first team and things like that give the young players more of an opportunity.”
Pearson’s tenacity on the pitch has drawn comparisons with Paul Scholes and although he isn’t yet at the level where he can challenge for a first team spot, it shouldn’t be long before he gets a chance if he can continue to progress with the Under-21s under Warren Joyce’s guidance.
Here are a few more extracts from his extended interview.
On winning the Jimmy Murphy Player of the Year award..
“It was a massive achievement, and I certainly didn’t expect it, but I played well. We had quite a good season overall, apart from the FA Youth Cup.”
On his progress as a player…
“I was out injured the year before last so that was hard but it actually helped. I started off by not playing much in my first year in the youth team and then got an illness. Coming back made me a bit hungrier. I wanted it a little more. I got straight back in the team and luckily, through injuries elsewhere and playing well myself, I kicked on.”
On his playing style…
“I like getting stuck in. Obviously you need to when playing in midfield but, off the ball, I can be quite aggressive too with my running, helping out and being more defensive for the team.”
On learning from Paul Scholes…
“Well, Paul Scholes has been assisting the U19s. He’s from Oldham like me so we have a bit of banter as well. It’s so good to have legends like him and Nicky Butt because they are a massive help and give us something to aspire to.”