Callum Gribbin’s former England youth coach describes him as a ‘special talent’

by Tanveer Arayan

Former England youth coach of Callum Gribbin, Kenny Swain, has described the Manchester United youngster as a “special talent”.

Gribbin is only 16-years-old but he impressed for Man United’s U18s so much that he’s been accelerated into the U21s set-up this year and has played a key role in the U19s UEFA Youth League competition.

The Englishman was the subject of interest from Manchester City and Liverpool this summer but he ended up signing a new contract at Old Trafford. Swain, who coached Gribbin at U16s and U17s level, revealed that he has been left “breathless” by the Salford lad’s talent.

“I heard about Gribbs through our scouting network and everyone would say, ‘You have to see this lad, he is similar to this player, or that player,” Swain said.

“He can take it under pressure anywhere. The best players tempt the opposition into the challenge, and it is all about the timing of release, which Gribbs has to a T, way beyond his years. Not many kids can deal with him or want to deal with him. He just sends them the wrong way and makes them look foolish. He leaves me breathless.”

Gribbin’s a player who really does stand out from the players around him. In recent years we’ve had a few like that – Paul Pogba, Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira – and they have all gone on to become fantastic players in their own rights. Gribbin has the opportunity to do just that.

As well as Gribbin, United have a number of exciting young talents coming through the academy such as Axel Tuanzebe and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

While they all still have a lot of work to do before they make it at United, the early signs are good. Louis van Gaal has also shown that he is more than prepared to thrust them into the first-team spotlight if he deems them ready, as he has shown already this term with Tuanzebe and Jackson.

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