Manchester United boos have the potential to thrust Everton’s’sensational’ prodigy into Rafa Benitez’s plans.
When Charlie Whitaker took to the pitch at Old Trafford earlier this month, the boos of Manchester United fans may have been music to his ears.
The teenager signed his first professional deal with Everton just over a year ago and was still mostly involved with the club’s under-18s setup.
After a rollercoaster 12 months, the midfielder was warming up with the senior squad ahead of what would be Rafa Benitez’s biggest match of the season so far.
The 18-year-old may not have played against Manchester United for the Blues, but the experience adds to the critical time he spent with the first team during the summer’s pre-season tour in the United States.
This is an impressive surge through the rankings for a player that many people may not have been aware of only a few months ago.
In fact, he only joined David Unsworth’s under-23s side in April, scoring a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Southampton less than a month later.
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Even after securing the treble, the youngster maintained a modest demeanor, which is evident when looking across the board at the club’s academy right now.
They believe in their abilities, not in a negative way. They don’t want to get ahead of themselves, but they also don’t want to slip too far behind.
“Next season, I simply want to help the team as much as I can and get more goals and assists,” Whitaker said after the game against the Saints.
There are no immediate eyes on the first team, and no great goals to strive for. It’s logical and practical.
Of course, all of this occurred prior to what was undoubtedly the most important moment of the youngster’s embryonic career: his selection for the first team squad to travel to the United States.
With Everton competing in the Florida Cup against Millonarios and, finally, Pumas, a surprising selection for Whitaker was not something many supporters expected.
“Summary comes to a close.”