MANCHESTER UNITED have always had a rich affiliation with Scotland.
Think Sir Alex Ferguson, Denis Law, Alan Brazil, Brian McClair, and most recently Scot McTominay who have all left their mark at Old Trafford.
Louis Jackson is a highly-rated centre back at Man UtdCredit: Getty
Jackson lifts the FA Youth Cup after starring in the final in front of 70,000 fansCredit: Getty
And in front of 70,000 fans at the Theatre of Dreams last week, it was Louis Jackson, 16, who stood out in the FA Youth Cup final win over Nottingham Forest.
The Scotland U17 international showed composure on the ball, as well as a calming presence in the backline.
An avid United fan growing up, Jackson is set to have a bright future in the game.
Earlier this season, he became their youngest ever youth player when he played for the Under 23s at the age of 15.
He’s got by with a little help from his friends too, in the shape of mentor and United’s technical director Darren Fletcher.
U17 European Championships
Jackson is preparing for Scotland’s opening game in the U17 Euros – a tough match with two-time winners Portugal.
But before he went out to join the squad in Israel, it was former midfielder Fletcher who had a word in the young lad’s ear.
“Darren Fletcher has been a big help for me. He’s a really nice guy and he makes a point of always talking to me,” he said.
“He’s always asking me if there is anything I need or any help he can give me.
“Just before I left to come out to Israel with Scotland he pulled me aside and had a quick chat and wished me all the best. He said he would be watching us.
“He had an amazing career with Manchester United and with Scotland. Any advice he can give me is a big help. He’s a man I look up to and he’s a great role model for the younger players like me.”
Jackson’s confidence in the Scotland squad will be sky-high after he helped United’s U16 beat Forest in the FA Youth Cup final – with the club recording their first win in the competition since 2011.
Jackson’s ability on the ball and anticipation stand outCredit: Getty
Scotland U17 international Jackson will be appeared for his country in the U17 EurosCredit: Kenny Ramsay
Speaking about the occasion, the defender revealed he was blown away by the record-breaking crowd – an amazing 67,492 cheered the home team on to victory.
Jackson said: “The Youth Cup win was a magical night. It was massive for the whole of the Manchester United Academy and I can’t thank the fans enough for the support they gave us.
“It’s hard to put to words how incredible it was. For me, it was the stuff of dreams.
“To play in front of 70,000 shows just how big the Academy is at the club.”
Impress the new boss
Now, Jackson will be hoping to impress new manager Erik ten Hag, who left Ajax’s title celebrations behind to fly Manchester and bed in to his new job.
Future star Jackson is hoping to impress new manager Erik ten HagCredit: Getty
The youngsters knows he’s at a club that is prepared to give youth a chance.
“It’s in the Manchester United DNA for kids to come through here,” he said.
“I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan. I’ve had a season ticket since I was five years old and walking out to a crowd like that was just incredible. It shows how much the Academy means to the club.
“I made my debut for the Under 23s when I was 15 last pre-season. These experiences are just so good for your career.
“The new manager is coming in and he has a reputation for being big on youth, so there is a really good feeling around the place now.
“It’s important for us to see that he trusted the kids at his previous job because that gives the younger players like us belief.”
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.