Manchester United talent Ethan Galbraith made his competitive international debut last night.
The midfielder came on in the 79th minute of Northern Ireland’s 1-1 Nations League draw at home to Romania.
He has played just one senior match for United – against Astana last November – and now has bettered that tally at international level.
Liam Boyce was the home goalscorer last night and said after the game that Galbraith had impressed him, describing the teenager as ‘brilliant in training’.
Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough also gave his thoughts on Galbraith before the match.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he said: “Everybody’s interested to see how Ethan gets on. Bringing him into the squad, he was there on merit.
“Having him for ten, eleven days, he’s gaining massive experience. The last six months have told me that he’s grown up as an individual, grown as a player.
“Manchester United are really happy with his development, he’s signed a new deal. It’s my job to bring young players through. Ethan is one of those… capable, but they have to go and step up.”
While many of United’s most talented young players have been sent out on loan, Galbraith has been kept at the club.
Baraclough’s comments indicate United are satisfied with how that’s going, despite the fact he hasn’t played a club game this season.
United’s raft of midfield options mean Galbraith will find it hard to break through this term, so it’s all about what he can learn on the training pitch.
International exposure can only help his development, and Northern Ireland are looking to bring through a new generation of talent, with last week’s failure to qualify for the European Championships feeling like the end of an era.
Galbraith has the quality to be a major part of that, and last night was another step in his development.
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