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I scored an own goal on Man Utd debut and never played again – now I’m making my own way in EFL

DI’SHON BERNARD has no regrets about exiting Manchester United to find his feet – just as a team-mate emerged to find fame.

The defender, 23, scored a Europa League own goal on his only senior appearance for the Red Devils in November 2019.

Man Utd academy product Di’Shon Bernard is happy he joined current club Sheffield Wednesday last summer

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Man Utd academy product Di’Shon Bernard is happy he joined current club Sheffield Wednesday last summerCredit: Rex
London-born ace Bernard was with first club Man Utd from 2019-2023

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London-born ace Bernard was with first club Man Utd from 2019-2023Credit: Getty

And while he’s relieved he joined Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer last summer, he’s raving about the talent of fellow Old Trafford academy product Kobbie Mainoo.

Bernard is delighted to be a Championship regular after loan spells with Salford, Hull and Portsmouth.

And although there’s a long history United kids forced to move away to progress, he tips 18-year-old Mainoo for long-term stardom.

That’s a verdict born of Bernard’s own open-mouth experience of training alongside the England hopeful at United two years ago.

The Jamaica star told the Manchester Evening News: “I was thinking: ‘Who is this kid?’ You could see straight away from the stuff he was doing in training that he was going to be a top, top player.

“His dribbling was remarkable, going through players easily, just striding like he wasn’t even trying. 

“You could see straight away that he was one of those special players coming through the ranks and I am proud to see him playing for United and doing what he is doing. He deserves it.”

Bernard added: “He is one of them kids that doesn’t really talk too much, he was a bit shy. 

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“He just let his feet do the talking and you can see that even until now. He is a special talent.

“His mindset to the game is like someone who has been playing for years; he is just that type of professional. 

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“He’s willing to learn, he’s willing to work hard for the team and I think that is what United need.”

Midfielder Mainoo made his senior debut aged 17, whereas Bernard was a month short of his 19th birthday when his big day came – away to Astana in Kazakhstan.

He said: “It was a very special moment for me… it was a far trip, very cold, but it was a moment that will live with me forever. 

“I was buzzing, really. It was nerve-racking, but I thought I did well.”

However, despite an early opener from Jesse Lingard, the minnows landed a famous 2-1 turnaround win.

Dmitri Shomko levelled – before Bernard got an unlucky deflection past his own keeper and fellow full debutant Lee Grant.

Now he’s focused on rebuilding his career a step down from the Premier League.

Bernard said: “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out for everyone playing for United, but that is just how it is; everyone’s journey is different

“Mine, unfortunately, wasn’t at United and I just needed to go to a place where I could play many games and build myself back up.

“I think Sheffield Wednesday was definitely the right place for me to do that. It has been a mixed season, but for me personally, I have been playing a lot of games, showing everyone what I can do.”

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