Shoretire sets quirky new club record
As you may have heard, Shola Shoretire became the seventh-youngest player in Manchester United’s history when introduced late on in the 3-1 win over Newcastle United.
In Premier League-era terms, Shoretire is behind only Angel Gomes, who made his debut aged 16 against Crystal Palace on the final day of the 2016/17 season.
There was, however, a record which our 17-year-old prospect set outright, when replacing fellow Academy graduate Marcus Rashford on 89 minutes.
This landmark is one keen-eyed fans may have spotted when glancing at the back of Shoretire’s shirt – and, after delving into our official records, we can now confirm it.
Shola’s no.74 is the highest squad number ever won by a Red in a competitive men's first-team fixture, as he has overtaken another Academy debutant.
Teden Mengi, who is currently on loan at Derby County, where Wayne Rooney is manager, sported no.71 when playing against LASK in the Europa League last season.
Mengi had previously been an unused substitute in a European fixture which saw plenty of high squad numbers – the 2-1 defeat to Astana in November 2019.
With qualification to the knock-out stages already secured, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to give no fewer than six players their first-team bows.
Clubs must submit unique squad numbers for the Papa John’s Trophy, where Under-21s teams play against professional sides, and Ethan Laird (41), D'Mani Mellor (49), Ethan Galbraith (54), Di'Shon Bernard (58), Largie Ramazani (59) and Dylan Levitt (63) all wore theirs when brought into the senior set-up in Kazakhstan.
Tim Fosu-Mensah (51), Brandon Williams (53) and Mason Greenwood (54) also sported unusual figures at the dawn of their Reds careers, before moving up the list. Greenwood, for example, wore no.26 last season before being awarded the famous no.11 at the beginning of the current term.
Meanwhile, Tobin Heath wears the no.77 for our Women's side.
Despite assuring his place in club history, Shoretire is still some way off the overall Premier League record, currently held by Arsenal’s highly rated Bukayo Saka.
The versatile England international wore no.87 on his top-flight debut for the Gunners, back in January 2019, before moving to no.77 and then his current no.7.