Ben Pearson is hoping to break through into Manchester United’s first-team under the guidance of Louis van Gaal.
A battling midfielder, Pearson’s tenacity and sheer determination in both attack and defence have made him a very rounded player and speaking to ManUtd.com, the 19-year-old explained his desire to follow in the footsteps of other youngsters under Van Gaal.
“The manager has played a few youngsters already,” he said. “Tyler [Blackett] has been playing regularly and Reece James has played. A few of the lads were involved against MK Dons and, hopefully, all of us can come through. The manager has done it previously at Ajax and Barcelona and I hope he can do it here. There are a few young lads pushing for first-team places. It is all about getting an opportunity. There are always lads going up and training with the first team. You’ve just got to impress in those training sessions.
“I think I’m still a similar sort of player now to the one I have always been. I still need to get forward more and add a few goals but I’m more of a conductor. I am a bit more of a passer and a tackler who breaks up play and starts attacks off.”
“I have done it a few times and it’s good but a lot faster and there is a lot more pressure. It’s great playing with players you’ve watched as a kid and learning off them. Darren Fletcher is really good to us as he is always talking with the younger lads and helping out. But all the senior players are really good and do that.
“Hopefully, later down the line, I can go out on loan but I’m not sure about this season. It would have to be a bit later but it might be decided I should go out there and experience playing with a first team.
“I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. You’ve just got to throw yourself into it and see what happens. I do feel I need a few more games this season to get up to full speed as there have been gaps between the Under-21 matches. I need to get a run of games to get fully in tune.”
“I’m a deep midfielder and I prefer that as I can get on the ball a bit more and have more time on it. I do like to play in a more attacking role as well though.”
Pearson is a selfless performer whenever he plays. Unafraid to do the dirty work, he is clinical in the tackle, confident with the ball at his feet and has a tireless work rate akin to Darren Fletcher in his pomp, but it is his attitude which sums up why he is such a valued player in the lower ranks at United.
“I must admit I’m not really too bothered about scoring and getting headlines,” he added.
“As long as the team wins and the performance is good, that’s all I am really concerned about.”