Shola Shoretire made Manchester United history this evening as he became the youngest player ever to represent the Red Devils in European competition.
Ironically, the player Shoretire replaced on the pitch, Mason Greenwood, was the previous youngest in the Premier League era, but the youngest in the club’s entire history had been Norman Whiteside.
The Irishman was 17 years and four months old when he made his debut in a goalless draw against Valencia in the UEFA Cup at Old Trafford in 1982.
Gary Neville comes in fourth having come on as a late substitute against Torpedo Moscow in 1992.
David Sadler, Regan Poole, George Best, Gerard Pique, Ryan Giggs and Mads Timm are others who competed in Europe for the club before their 18th birthday.
The Newcastle-born Shoretire took to the field in the 77th minute aged just 17 years and 23 days.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 25, 2021
As he came onto the pitch, goalkeeper Dean Henderson was heard shouting ‘Come on Shola, express yourself!’, which was tremendous encouragement from the goalkeeper and indicative of the United DNA running through Solskjaer’s squad.
The team that finished the tie was brimming with Academy graduates. Henderson, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcus Rashford all came through the ranks. Greenwood would have made six had he still been on the pitch and Amad could technically be counted as a seventh, having joined the club as a teenager and made his debut at Under-23 level. Ethan Galbraith and Nathan Bishop were also present as unused subs.
The French Connection: How much do you know about the French players who have helped Manchester United to glory over the years? Take our quiz below to find out!