Juan Mata has sent a word of encouragement to Manchester United youngster Shola Shoretire.

Mata was responding after Shoretire talked him up in a recent interview.

The pair were both late substitutes in February against Newcastle when Shoretire made his debut, becoming United’s seventh youngest player of all time.

Manchester United FC Training Session and Press Conference - UEFA Europa League Final 2021
(Photo by Boris Streubel – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Message of encouragement

Mata’s message shows what a class act he is. While he could just have sent Shoretire a note privately, he clearly wants to talk up and encourage the talented teenager.

Shoretire, 17, enjoyed a very strong season for Manchester United’s under-23 side.


The youngster scored 10 goals and provided six assists. He was the second highest contributor in both of these categories.

Shoretire’s path for next season is currently unclear. He will get a chance to show what he can do in pre-season, with many first teams stars expected back late after international duty.

Mata’s future is even more uncertain. He has to choose whether to accept United’s proposed contract extension or leave on a free transfer. A decision will be made in a few days, with his deal expiring on June 30.

If he were to leave, it may open up more chances for Shoretire. Although if he does stay, the benefit is that Shoretire can learn from Mata close up for another season.

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