Dan Gore made his Manchester United debut during the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.
The young English midfielder was introduced into the game midway through the second half and enjoyed a positive performance on his 19th birthday.
“I think it tops the list of birthdays,” he said, with a gleaming smile when speaking to MUTV after the game. “It was a truly special moment.
“I don’t think words can describe the feeling, like just seeing the fans and everything you dreamed of coming true.”
Gore has been in the United academy since the summer of 2021 when he joined from Burnley. Lee Waddington, the man who scouted the midfielder for The Clarets, described the 19-year-old as the “toughest attacking player I’ve ever coached in my 30 years”.
Being able to make his debut at Old Trafford on his 19th birthday was not only a special moment for the player but also for his United-supporting family.
“It means everything [to his family], growing up as a United fan with my whole family, it means a lot to them and they were all supporting me,” he added.
Erik ten Hag has at times been criticised for a perceived lack of trust in the academy players barring Alejandro Garnacho. However, the manager has simply explained the levels that they must achieve in training to be given chances under him.
Before coming onto the pitch, Gore detailed what the boss said to him in those moments. “He just told me to go out and enjoy myself, express myself [and that] I deserved the chance.”
The young midfielder still feels slightly starstruck playing alongside the likes of Casemiro. Yet, he has explained that it is something that has elevated his game in recent months.
“I think being around all the world-class players day-in day-out, it’s really helped me a lot improve on my game, learning off the best,” explained Gore.
“You grow up watching these players, so like to play with them… you watched them on telly winning the Champions League and it’s actually surreal.”
Gore entered the frame whilst United were already 3-0 up but he did not let the occasion get the better of him. The team continued to play until the final whistle and the teenager believed the team’s performance was strong.
“I thought it was very positive, we played to the game plan, we passed it around good, converted our chances very well and an overall good performance.”
On his own display, Gore added: “At first I was just warming into the game, little passes and building myself into the game, and then you grow in confidence and started taking a few more touches and doing a little dribble now and then.”
Finally, the England U18s international spoke well beyond his years when discussing his plans for the rest of the season and whether more first-team minutes is the target for him.
“That’s the aim, but obviously it happens in training,” he stated. “You have to work hard every day in training and then hopefully the opportunities come your way.”
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