I don’t count Man Utd as part of my career even though Sir Alex Ferguson called me an exceptional talent

NICK POWELL doesn’t count his Manchester United stint as part of his career.

The mercurial midfielder joined the Red Devils as an 18-year-old in a £6million move from hometown side Crewe in 2012.

Nick Powell was unveiled at Man United by Sir Alex Ferguson alongside Shinji KagawaGetty – Contributor

AP:Associated PressPowell scored his first goal for Man United against Wigan as a teenager[/caption]

AFPThe England youth international joined the Red Devils as an 18-year-old[/caption]

Powell had already managed to get 64 appearances and 16 goals under his belt as a teen, with Sir Alex Ferguson calling him an “exceptional talent” as he was unveiled alongside Shinji Kagawa.

The England youth international scored on his Man United debut, after coming on as a late substitute during a 4-0 win over Wigan in September 2012.

It would go on to be his only goal for the club, however, with things not going to plan.

A malignant tumour was discovered on Powell’s spine during that season, forcing the promising star to have to go under the knife.

Following his return he struggled to move across the pitch in the same way, picking up a series of niggling injuries along the way.

While Ferguson’s decision to retire in the summer of 2013 also made matters more difficult.

Loan spells at Wigan, Leicester and Hull followed, before Powell was released by United in 2016.

Now looking back on his Old Trafford experience as a 29-year-old, Powell told the Sport Bible: “I think the biggest thing for United fans is they think I had a bad attitude.

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“They say I’m such a failure or a flop. But I’m like, I don’t really count Manchester United as part of my career. It’s a nice thing to have on your CV but listen, I only played nine games. It’s not like I was a United player.

“People say, ‘Oh you played at Old Trafford. You played for Man Utd’ and I just say, ‘Did I really? I made three starts and six sub appearances. It wasn’t great.

“I just think, because it’s such a big club people sort of go, ‘Well most people don’t get to do it’ but I didn’t really get to live it.

“I really appreciated the opportunity. I just didn’t take it as seriously as I should have.”

As a mature adult now, studying for a post-playing career in financial planning, Powell is able to look back on his past mistakes.

He has admitted not looking after himself as he should have, adding: “I didn’t care about my diet until I was 25. I remember at Crewe, I used to eat McDonald’s after every game because McDonald’s was around the corner.

I used to have Domino’s every day

Nick Powell

“When I went to United, I didn’t know how to cook so I used to have Domino’s every day. I’d get to a point in my apartment where, I’m not joking, there’d be 15 boxes of Domino’s stacked up. I’d be standing there like, ‘Oh right, I best put these out in the bin.’

“But yeah, like I said, that’s laziness. It’s not professional. If you’re that in love with football, and that in love with getting better, you either pay for a chef or learn to cook. I’m the tightest man alive so I’m thinking, ‘I’m not paying someone to cook me some food in my own house.’

“I’ve always been labelled as someone with a bad attitude. And it wasn’t that. I just wasn’t professional enough. I didn’t know what was needed. I never had the mindset of wanting to be the best. My mindset was, get me on a Saturday and I’ll hopefully do something good.

“Until the age of 25, my whole career was trying to find the biggest shortcut possible to make sure I could still play football.”

Powell spent three years at Wigan following his United release, before joining Stoke under Nathan Jones in 2019.

He left the Potteries earlier this year, turning down interest from Wrexham to sign a three-year deal at League Two Stockport County.

The former United man has started both of his side’s league matches so far this season, although they have slumped to defeat in both.

On his latest move, he concluded: “It’s perspective, isn’t it? They can have their thoughts on it. I don’t know. For me, it was right. I could have happily stayed in certain leagues or gone somewhere else. I know my reasons. It doesn’t bother me.”

Getty – ContributorPowell made just nine appearances for the Red Devils[/caption]

The former Man United star now plays for Stockport County in League TwoRex

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