What Erik ten Hag told Man Utd youngster Willy Kambwala before Old Trafford debut

Willy Kambwala made his Manchester United debut at West Ham but coming on at Old Trafford is his career highlight.

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Willy Kambwala has described his Old Trafford debut as 'the best experience' he's had in football after being called off the bench by manager Erik ten Hag.

Kambwala came on to see out the final minutes of Manchester United's comeback win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, with Rasmus Hojlund netting his first Premier League goal to turn 2-0 into 3-2. The young defender enjoyed every moment on the Old Trafford pitch and took in the post-match celebrations once the full-time whistle went.

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It was actually Kambwala's second appearance in the league, the 19-year-old having started the 2-0 defeat at West Ham just before Christmas. But for a young defender who has always supported United, walking out at Old Trafford meant more and he has recalled the moment Ten Hag told him to 'be ready'.

"I think it's the best experience I've had in football," Kambwala told MUTV recently. "I know I started against West Ham but playing at Old Trafford is something else. To be able to be on the pitch that day, what a game!

"I was so excited, just to see how everyone was fighting for both teams. I was on the bench and I just wanted to play. When the manager called me and said: 'You need to be ready"... wow! I was just so excited, I can't explain! Coming on, winning 3-2, touching the ball - it's important to touch the ball - and sharing the victory, because it was my first win, it was just amazing.

"People were singing, I could feel the pitch shaking! I was just so excited to be there! Like you say, it was my dream to be playing there for Man United at Old Trafford. I think every kid dreams about that. So, to be able to do it, it's just amazing. I'm talking about it like I'm a kid, like I'm still 13 years old!"

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Kambwala has since made two more appearances for United, coming off the bench during FA Cup wins over Wigan Athletic and Newport County. The teenager has been in and around the first-team throughout the season and could make a further step up over the summer, with some more experienced options like Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans set to leave as free agents.

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