When Jose Mourinho picks you out to train with the first-team when you’re 15 years old, you have to be a special talent.
Mason Greenwood, a shining light for Manchester United this season, earnt that feat.
The 20-year-old is now blossoming as a regular for the Red Devils with three goals in seven top-flight appearances this term.
Nicky Butt, in a wide-ranging interview with The Athetic, has revealed that Mourinho was so taken by Greenwood’s talent at Old Trafford that he asked him to train with the first team when he was just 15.
He revealed that the Special One, who spent two-and-a-half-years at Old Trafford before he was sacked, loved Greenwood and also ‘never looked back’ after being introduced to Scott McTominay.
Speaking about Mourinho’s arrival, he said. “An unbelievable character. I was his academy manager so I wondered what it would be like. The reality was that he spoke to me every single morning at breakfast. He asked me about young players, he was approachable, he was helpful. He was single-minded and selfish – and whether you like it or not, that’s what the best managers are.
“He would ask me which players I wanted to move up. He asked: ‘Who is this kid Greenwood?’ when Mason was 15. ‘Bring him to train with us,’ and I said: ‘We can’t, because he’s at school and there are rules and regulations.’
“I pushed Scott McTominay and explained that he was a good kid who he’d like; one who was aggressive, can run and pass. Jose had him training and Scott never looked back
“Jose sat with the under-19s ahead of a trip to Portugal. He told them what to expect, he said that Victor Lindelof will be the next big player. Jose was good and, for an elite manager with his record, he was very, very good with me.”
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