Wednesday 3 February 2016

Cameron catching the eye and coming of age

Sometimes, young players are thrust into the first team and you know they're never going to be good enough to become a regular. 

Since his senior step-up against West Brom in November, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who turned 19 on Tuesday, has looked every inch a United player.

The match against Stoke was only his tenth appearance for the club but he looks as though he's been playing at left-back for the Reds all his life. 

He did not look phased in the Anfield cauldron two weeks ago- impressing as a substitute- and has produced two of the best crosses of the season since breaking into the first team.

The first, against Chelsea, deserved a goal from Wayne Rooney but his sumptuous delivery for Jesse Lingard's opener against Stoke set United on their way to a comfortable and emphatic win. 

Borthwick-Jackson has been used sparingly by Van Gaal  but his strong performance on Tuesday- as both a defensive and attacking full-back- was his best yet in a United shirt. 

So good has his development been, he's been nominated for the club's Player of the month for January. 

19 years of age and at the biggest club in the world, Borthwick-Jackson is not living the Premier League lifestyle just yet as he turns up for training in a £14,000 Vauxhall Corsa- in stark contrast to Memphis Depay's £250,000 Rolls Royce and that, to me, says everything about Cameron's attitude and determination to succeed. 

Despite the well-documented problems of United's youth set-up, it was a goal made in the Reds Academy and a flash of brilliance to suggest both Borthwick-Jackson and Lingard are destined for the top. 

Both played their part in a performance that hinted all is not lost for us this season.

It's somewhat ironic that Borthwick-Jackson's breakthrough to the first team came about because of Luke Shaw's injury but, on this evidence, Shaw faces a battle to regain the left-back berth upon his return from injury. 

Van Gaal may never win the title at Old Trafford, or even a trophy and may not even see out the final year of his contract at the club. 

But he blooded young players at Barcelona and Bayern Munich- players that went on to achieve fantastic things are both clubs.

Lingard and Borthwick-Jackson will never go on to be Andres Iniesta or David Alaba but, thanks to Van Gaal, United's future looks in good hands. 

We posted last week that United had uncovered a gem in Anthony Martial but- in Cameron Borthwick-Jackson- we've discovered one more and, best of all, he's one of our own. 

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