Mourinho tipped McTominay for stardom in 2017

Where are they now? The 3 Man Utd kids tipped for stardom by Jose Mourinho in 2017

Jose Mourinho tipped three Manchester United kids for stardom in 2017 and we’ve checked out whether those players have since lived up to their potential.

While the Portuguese boss isn’t best known for promoting youngsters, he has played a role in developing plenty of young stars throughout his career.

Following a friendly game with Real Madrid in 2017, Mourinho namechecked three United youngsters who he believed would have a bright future at the club. We’ve assessed where those three players are today.

Scott McTominay

Of the three players that Mourinho tipped for stardom, McTominay is the only player who is still at the club today.

After spending 15 years in the United academy, McTominay finally got his first chance in the senior squad under Mourinho. Fast forward to 2024 and he’s still going strong for the club today.

During a recent interview with the High Performance Podcast, McTominay revealed that he still keeps in touch with Mourinho to this day.

“On the day he left, I saw him in the corridor and he invited me in. I didn’t know what to say. I was gutted. It was hard,” McTominay admitted.

“This guy means so much to me and has given me all the dreams I could ever wish for, and now he’s gone. I didn’t know what to think. I was umming and aahing. I just said ‘Thank you for the opportunity, you’ve been a real-life legend for me, good luck for what you do next’.

“We are still in touch sometimes, if I’ve had a good game he lets me know. He’ll text saying ‘well done kid’ as he always calls me. They were great times and I’m so grateful for him.”

Demetri Mitchell

During his days in the United academy, Mitchell was very highly thought of. Mourinho handed him his senior debut in 2017, but the prospect only managed a solitary appearance for the club before he was let go in 2019 on the back of some big injuries.

He came up through the United ranks as a winger but has transitioned into a full-back role in his later years. Mitchell has enjoyed a solid career in the EFL since leaving United and currently plays for Exeter City in League One.

“In the moment, you’re just living it. You’re eating dinner with players like Rooney, Zlatan and Pogba and you don’t think anything of it. It becomes normal. When you come out of it, then you realise what you were achieving [just by being at United],” Mitchell told The Mirror last year.

“When the call came, I already knew, but I didn’t think it would hit me [that hard]. I hadn’t played for 18 months so I knew it was coming, but it still knocks you. I had a lump in my throat.”

Andreas Pereira

Pereira has always spoken glowingly about Mourinho as the Portuguese boss played a key role in his development back in the day.

While things didn’t quite pan out for the midfielder at Old Trafford, he has since enjoyed a good career with Fulham.

“Even if it looks from the outside that he [Mourinho] doesn’t give opportunities to young players, I don’t agree with it,” Pereira told The Guardian.

“I got in the national team mainly because of him. He made me play deeper and helped me see the game from another perspective.

“My first thought was: ‘Whoa, I cannot defend, I have to learn.’ But he showed me some stuff I had to do better. It’s Jose Mourinho. You want to learn off the best.”

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