Catch me if you can! Academy star Deji Sotona is Manchester United’s fastest player as teenager BEATS speeds set by Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Diogo Dalot
- Manchester United have a new sprint king after recent tests at the training base
- Academy prospect Deji Sotona was clocked with a maximum speed of 22.9mph
- That time saw him overtake efforts by Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and others
Manchester United academy prospect Deji Sotona has been crowned the new sprint king of Old Trafford.
The 16-year-old Republic of Ireland youth international, in recent tests at the United’s Carrington training complex, was clocked at a staggering maximum speed of 22.9mph – more than 1.2mph ahead of second quickest Diogo Dalot.
Sotona, who plays for United’s Under 18s, is highly regarding by Old Trafford coaches and is being tipped to make the first-team breakthrough.
Manchester United academy prospect Deji Sotona is the fastest player on the club’s books
Diogo Dalot is Manchester United’s quickest senior star but Sotona is faster than the right back
The teenager’s speed was fully apparent from an early age – Sotona was Ireland’s national Under 14 sprint champion at the age of 12.
The winger — who has been likened to Ryan Giggs behind the scenes at Old Trafford — is also eligible for England, something Football Association chiefs are understood to be aware of.
Within the first-team squad Dalot, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Tahith Chong are among the quickest.
But Sotona now holds the title of being the speediest player at United.
Summer signing Daniel James is one of the quickest at the club but he has now been overtaken
Marcus Rashford is up there with Dalot and James when it comes to being a speed merchant
Fellow speedster James has taken to life at Old Trafford with relative ease, scoring three goals in four games for the Red Devils.
Manchester United legend and current Wales manager Giggs has urged James to take the burden off Gareth Bale.
‘They’re playing and they’re in good form, both are scoring,’ Giggs said of the duo. ‘I think they’re both looking forward to being involved in the game.
‘Dan has got off to a great start at Manchester United but he’s also been great for us, especially with difficult circumstances in the summer.
‘The pressure is always on Gareth but I want to bring that pressure off Gareth, we can’t rely on him in every game because we’ve got other talented players in the squad.’