Manchester United youngster Sean Goss may become the first German-born player to represent the club tonight, if selected ahead of star signing Bastian Schweinsteiger.
19 year old Goss – whose smart possession style of play has seen him compared to Michael Carrick – was born in Wegberg, Germany, just 8km from Holland.
He was previously at Exeter City (he was a mascot in the 2005 FA Cup tie between the clubs) before joining United in 2012 and signing professional terms in July that year. He impressed in his eight reserve team appearances, scoring once, against Leicester in April.
Goss has been a United supporter all of his life, as he revealed to ManUtd.com in April. ‘I was picked out of a big draw to be mascot when I was about seven, to walk out at Old Trafford when Exeter drew 0-0 here, and I was buzzing,’ he admitted. ‘I’d been up a few times with my Dad as we’ve got family who live here as well. I remember staying over and watching United play Charlton in the last game of the season. Obviously as I’d been before, I knew what it was like.’
Goss has admitted the comparisons to Carrick have been motivating. ‘It’s a good thing to hear,’ he said. ‘Obviously, I look up to him as a player and I like to play like that. He has come down and trained with us and it gives you an idea of what it is like to be in the first team so you take notice of that. He is one of my favourite players in the first team and I do look up to him. I want to play like him as well, spreading passes, keeping the ball and trying to read the play, while getting on the ball as much as I can.’
The youngster – who turns 20 in October – is confident of his progress at the club.
‘I just need to work hard and impress,’ he insists. ‘The thing for me, at the moment, is to keep a place in the Under-21 side. I’ve got to continue to adapt. The pace of the games, coming from Exeter, was so different that it definitely took me a while to adapt physically and mentally. When I was with Exeter, I didn’t really look at the defensive side as I was encouraged to get forward a lot more and arrive late in the box. Coming here has definitely made me a better player.’
United’s game against Club America kicks off at 4am BST.