Ethan Hamilton reveals what it was like to replace Paul Pogba against Huddersfield Town

by Leo Nieboer

Ethan Hamilton has been reflecting on an “amazing” call-up to the first team on the morning of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup.

The youngster received a place in the squad after Paul Pogba pulled out of the game with an illness, meaning Scott McTominay took his place in the starting XI.

Hamilton wasn’t introduced off the bench by Jose Mourinho, however, as the visitors claimed a routine 2-0 win at the Kirklees Stadium.

Nevertheless, Hamilton has told MUTV that the whole experience of travelling with the first team was special.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I got called up on the morning of the game. I was reporting to training anyway because we played Chelsea on the Friday night, so to then get the call was amazing and I was delighted. It came about that quickly.”

“I imagine if it had been the night before, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep but it came so quickly it was quite amazing the way it all happened. Having my name on the back of the shirt when I went into the changing room, I was a bit stunned – especially with it being next to all the amazing players.

“But you’ve got to believe you can get there and push on from there. All the first-team lads made me feel welcome, which was good. There were certain things to pick up on, like the way they prepared mentally before the game and around the changing room with the focus on the game.”

Some expressed surprise at the news of Hamilton, a relatively unknown name, taking a place in the squad instead of Tahith Chong, who has made a remarkable impact for the Under 23s since joining up with the squad in January.

But Hamilton, much like Scott McTominay last season, has been quietly yet assuredly knocking on the door of Mourinho’s first team for some time, featuring regularly under Ricky Spragia in the domestic league and making seven appearances in the UEFA Youth League.

He is best described as a no-nonsense, defensively oriented midfielder, capable of covering plenty of ground and giving opponents a formidable physical challenge.

But whether he has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, McTominay, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe remains to be seen.

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