Manchester United’s newest academy member has officially joined the club, making a move from Linfield Under-16s.
Northern Irishman Ethan Galbraith has linked up with the Red Devils' Under-18 squad after seeing the transfer window officially open on Saturday, almost six months after agreeing to join the club.
The 16-year-old midfielder was playing for Linfield Under-16s when he was scouted by United, who invited him for a trial at the club.
Angel Gomes, who made his first team debut in May after 11 years in the academy set-up, was present on the day and provided inspiration for Galbraith to succeed.
"I went on a couple of trials last year after I was spotted playing for Linfield U16s. I must have done okay because United then offered me a contract in January,” he told the Irish Mirror.
"The trials were good, and I was playing with top players as well. Players like Angel Gomes who is moving onto the first team now.”
The County Antrim native signed a pre-contract agreement in January under the watchful eye of two club legends, after seeing his new side draw 1-1 with Liverpool.
"I signed my pre-contract with Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs back in January. It was unbelievable meeting them,” he continued.
"I went over to watch United play Liverpool at Old Trafford. Then I went into a wee room to sign the contract, and when I saw Giggs and Butt, it was mental.
"I am just a teenager from Glengormley who has always wanted to play full-time football. So to sign a deal with a club like Manchester United is massive.”
Galbraith’s link with United goes further back than the last few months, though, as he once scored for Northern Ireland under-13s in a 5-1 thrashing of his new employers.
He is also captain of his country’s under-17 team and has won caps for the under-18 side, and played for various youth teams at Ballyclare Comrades, Glentoran, and Crusaders, to go with his two spells at Linfield.
The young midfielder will be playing under compatriot Kieran McKenna in United’s under-18 team, which Galbraith is excited about:
“Kieran is from Ballinamallard. I met him and he is really dead on.
“It is good having someone from Northern Ireland over there.”