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Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell has admitted he is flattered by the comparisons to Paul Scholes he received following his impressive Premier League debut.

Powell, 18, made his first appearance for United since moving from Crewe Alexandra in the summer when he came off the bench to score a great goal in the 4-0 win over Wigan.

His impact led to generous praise from manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who revealed he hopes for Powell to replace United stalwart Scholes as the future of the team’s midfield.

“Nick Powell is going to be a really good player,” said Ferguson in the post-match interview. “He has a great temperament, is two-footed and quick. He is a good physical specimen and has terrific vision. We hope Powell fills Paul Scholes’ boots.”

Powell has responded to Ferguson’s remarks by claiming it is an honour to receive such praise from someone of such a high standing within the game.

“For someone like him to say he thinks you can do that (replace Scholes) is amazing to hear,” Powell told United Review.

“The expectations of you are there, but it’s fulfilling those expectations, which is the challenging, especially when you consider that there will never be another Scholes.

“What he has achieved in his career is what most people dream of. To achieve half of what he has would be brilliant. Hopefully I’m on the right path.”

Powell has not taken the common path en-route to becoming a Premier League player, instead coming through the youth ranks of League One side - and local club - Crewe before making the enormous step up to the giants of United.

And the talented midfielder admitted it was daunting when he first took to the iconic Old Trafford pitch to make his first appearance.

“I am only used to 5,000 people every now and then,” he said. “When I first came out onto the pitch, the crowd scared me a little bit. It is a great feeling but I will keep myself on the ground.”


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