Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has described his league debut for Manchester United during the 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion as "mad", saying he did not expect to even train with the first team this season. Having since played in defeats to Wolfsburg and Bournemouth, the 18-year-old full-back is looking to claim a regular place in Louis van Gaal's plans.
The versatile young defender made his debut with the Under-21 side in a game against Bolton Wanderers in 2013, despite being just 16-years-old. However, he failed to make a single appearance for the second team during 2014/15. After a good start to this season under Warren Joyce though, Van Gaal did not hesitate to hand him a debut against the Baggies following injuries to both Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo.
"It was mad! I only got told the day before to come into the squad and then to get out on the pitch was just a dream come true," the player said to United Review. "The manager has given me a chance, just like he gave a chance to Paddy [McNair], Jesse [Lingard], Tyler [Blackett] and a few others. I was just so happy and proud. I didn't think my debut would come this year and it was a bit unexpected but you have to be ready for it.
"I don't get nervous before games. Not even for the West Brom one. It is mad when you're coming out to play in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford as you'd think I would be really nervous, but it doesn't really hit me. I just block it out and get on with the game."
Van Gaal was impressed with his contribution against the Baggies and rewarded him with roles in the two following games. Firstly he was used as a replacement for the injured Matteo Darmian in the defeat against Wolfsburg, before he played the full 90 minutes in last weekend's loss to Bournemouth.
"I suppose I would just like to become a regular in the first-team squad," Borthwick-Jackson admitted. "That is what I've got to aim for, getting regular minutes in the Manchester United side. I need to make sure I'm in the manager's thoughts and will keep working hard. I have to be ready for anything and, although I'm young and still learning, I think I can become a regular one day."