Stewart Robson reads between the lines of Jose Mourinho’s press conference comments on Paul Pogba and feels his compliments were backhanded.
PHOENIX — Demetri Mitchell is hoping to prove he can cut it at Manchester United on their tour of the United States, but admits his future is in the hands of Jose Mourinho.
The 21-year-old is with the young United squad touring the US and, after an impressive loan spell at Hearts last season, stood out in a 60-minute run out against Club America in Phoenix on Thursday.
Sources have told ESPN FC he is wanted by Hearts and Derby this summer. But the England youth international is keen to use his chance to impress Mourinho.
“I’ve had a really good six months at Hearts, now it’s up to the manager,” he said.
“I’ve done what I’ve done there and I’m looking to show what I can do here. I’m just here to impress on tour and see what arises.
“It’s all up to the manager, whether he wants me to go out on loan or stay here this season. I’m just looking to impress as much as I can out here, whether it’s left wing or left-back and show what I can do.”
Mitchell started out as a left winger but was converted into a left-back with the help of academy chief Nicky Butt at the beginning of the 2016-17 season. He made his first-team debut at full-back in May 2017 and was considered a wing-back at Hearts.
Luke Shaw got the nod at left-back against Club America — another young player looking to win over Mourinho in the U.S. — but Mitchell looked more than comfortable on the wing in a front three that also included Juan Mata and Anthony Martial.
Mitchell is one of the more experienced youth team graduates on the tour, especially in comparison to 16-year-old Mason Greenwood and 17-year-old James Garner.
And he believes Mourinho has proved he is committed to bringing through young players since arriving at Old Trafford.
“You can see on this tour, so many kids came off the bench today, 16, 17, 18 years old,” said Mitchell.
“You can see chances here are being given and it’s all about what you can do on the pitch. If you impress the manager you always stand a chance.
“I was in L.A. with Scott [McTominay] as well last year and seeing how he progressed, it really inspires me and the younger players as well.
“There are a lot here, but seeing what he’s done, we can all learn from that.”
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.