Owen Otasowie has hailed the influence of head coach Nuno Espirito Santo after making his Premier League debut for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“He’s a really good manager, and he supported me a lot to be honest because I've got into a lot of mischievous stuff at Wolves," the 20-year-old United States international told the official club website.
"But he really put all of that to one side and spoke to me on a serious level and put an opportunity in front of me.
"He explained how things can work with my behaviour being more professional, so he’s helped me develop as a person as well as a player."
Otasowie's first Premier League appearance was one to savour, as he came off the bench at half-time and claimed an assist in a 2-1 win against Chelsea in December 2020.
As a result he received a Premier League Debut Ball, which is given to all top-flight debutants who have spent three years or more at an English Academy before the age of 21.
✅ @USMNT debut— Wolves (@Wolves) December 15, 2020
✅ @premierleague debut
A fantastic few weeks for Owen Otasowie!
Otasowie arrived at Wolves in 2017, having previously moved from New York to Peckham in south London as a child and developed his game with cage football.
“I fell into football because that’s the culture here,” the midfielder recalls. “When I was 12 or 13 years old, that’s when I started to enjoy it.
“In those areas [south London], it’s mainly cage-type football. That's really what made me enjoy it. With cage football, you’re playing with a lot your friends and it's a kickabout, but everyone's competitive at the same time.”