NICK POWELL was England’s best young player when he joined Manchester United in 2012.
However, the midfielder endured a difficult four years at Old Trafford and his departure left him feeling like ‘garbage being thrown out’.
Powell joined the Red Devils from Crewe Alexandra in 2012 for £6million.
One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signings, he scored on his Premier League debut against Wigan Athletic.
However, he only played eight more games for United in which he failed to score.
Powell was given the label of ‘prodigy’ after joining United, but it’s one he’s finding difficult to grasp over a decade later.
Speak with the athleteHe explained, “I thought I was the best 17 or 18-year-old in the country.”
“But when I see what other people have done in their careers compared to what I’ve done, I find it ridiculous that the ‘child prodigy’ thing stuck. The term ‘prodigy’ feels so pointless now.”
After stints on loan at Wigan Athletic, Leicester City and Hull City, Powell was sacked by United in 2016, still aged 22.
Recalling his departure, he continued: “My agent said, ‘It’s fine, you’re under Bosman age (to go on a free transfer) so they’ll probably give you another year and you’ll be guaranteed the same salary .’
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“Then, a few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail saying I was going to be released.”
Adding to the emotions the young midfielder felt upon hearing the news: “Because I was so low down the pecking order it really was like trash being thrown away. It’s not pretty, but that’s football.”
Powell, who won a league title and Community Shield with United, then spent three years at Wigan before joining Stoke in 2019.
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The former England Under-21 international would leave the Potters earlier this year after being sacked by the Championship side.
However, he remained in the Football League and joined losers League Two play-off finalists Stockport County on a three-year contract.