Demetri Mitchell has spoken out about making his senior debut during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The left-back, who has appeared on the bench in recent games against Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, was finally handed a chance to impress from the start against Sam Allardyce’s men.
And he seamlessly took to the vicissitudes of Premier League football from minute one, diligently going about his business at the back as Man United claimed a clean sheet.
Mitchell, speaking after the game, noted that it was somewhat surreal playing alongside so many other academy products at Old Trafford.
"It's what dreams are made of!" 😄
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 21, 2017
I’ve written about a lot on this site, covering pretty much every topic relating to United, but one thing I haven’t had the chance to write – or indeed rant – about is the way in which Rafael was belligerently pushed out of the club by Louis van Gaal in such nonchalant fashion.
He personified everything supporters would want to see in their right back: aggressive, devastatingly quick, shrewd in his tackling and completely committed to the task. But Van Gaal put Paddy McNair – a centre back by trade – there instead. There are some moments of the Dutchman’s era that you just have to laugh at.
I mention it because there was an unquestionable reminiscence of the Brazilian in the way Mitchell went about his game: he has that crucial Jack Russell element to his defensive approach – a constantly niggling presence, always racing across the turf and trying to create width whenever he could.
Whether further opportunities will come remains to be seen, but his was more or less the perfect start for the youngster.