Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has advised Shola Shoretire he must “train like your life depends on it” if he wants to seize his chance at the Red Devils and become a first-team regular.
Shoretire, The 17, came off the bench to make his senior debut against Newcastle at the weekend, playing the final minutes in what he described as a “dream come true”.
He is now in line to feature again as United prepares for the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Real Sociedad on Thursday.
United hold a 4-0 lead from the first leg, potentially giving Shoretire a chance of further action.
And former Bulgarian international Berbatov has offered the youngster some sound advice.
“It is a great moment for a player at 17 to make his debut at Old Trafford. He must have shown something in training and the youth teams which made that happen,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“He has made the first step and now the difficult thing is to show Ole and the coaching staff that he can back that up. He has to prove he belongs there. He just needs to keep pushing and show himself in the eyes of the coaching staff.”
Berbatov added:”In Shola’s situation, you must train like your life depends on it. You need to show everyone that you are here and are waiting for your moment. You should never take your eyes away from the prize.
“People come up to me and say: ‘I remember watching you when I was little.’ It always makes me think about how many years have passed and how old I am. Now I realise I had played in a Champions League final before Shoretire was born! However, for Shola he is at Manchester United and he just needs to keep it up.”