Belfast Telegraph

Regan Poole promises to practice patience at Manchester United

Welsh teenager Regan Poole accepts he has to bide his time to make his mark at Manchester United.

Poole made his United debut on the same February 2015 night that Marcus Rashford announced himself to the football world with two goals against Danish outfit Midtjylland in the Europa League.

While Rashford has gone on to become a United regular and a full England international in the intervening 15 months, central defender Poole has settled back into the reserves at Old Trafford.

But, ahead of Wales' Toulon Tournament opener against hosts France on Tuesday night, Poole remains determined to show his worth to United boss Jose Mourinho.

"I've had a little taste of the first team and that's what I want again," said Poole, who is eight months Rashford's junior and turns 19 next month.

"But I'm only 18 and sometimes you just have to step back and think 'I've still got a few years there and I've still got time'.

"So I just have to be a little bit patient and wait my time.

"You see these centre-backs coming in for millions of pounds and sometimes it does get you down, but I've still got a long time there and hopefully I get longer after my contract ends.

"I want to be at the club for as long as possible so I look beyond stuff like that (big money signings) and ahead to when I'm 21 or 22.

"Obviously it was nice to get my debut at 17, which was unexpected. For me that was an achievement, and I just want more of it."

Cardiff-born Poole made his English Football League debut for Newport as a 16-year-old in September 2014.

Less than a year later he joined United in a deal which could potentially rise to £400,000.

Poole - who has already won three Wales Under-21 caps despite his tender age - has another two years on his United contract, with the option of another 12 months.

"It's possible I could go out on loan, but I haven't spoken to the club about what happens next season," Poole said.

"It's a tough one because I'm developing under the best coaches in the world at United, and it's all about what the club thinks is best for me.

"But I would like to get out on loan. I miss playing in the league, there was nothing better."

Before that decision has to be made, however, Poole will be a cornerstone of the Wales Under-20 side playing at the prestigious Toulon Tournament for the first time.

Wales were invited to join the likes of Brazil and England on the back of Euro 2016 success last summer and find themselves in a group with Bahrain, France and the Ivory Coast.

"It will be a great experience for everyone to go to France," Poole said ahead of their Aubagne opener against the hosts.

"It's a tough way to start the competition, we all know that, but we're ready for it.

"France have a little advantage in being on their own turf, but we're looking forward to giving them a good test."

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