Who is Joshua Bohui? Man Utd starlet chased by England, France and Ivory Coast
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 23/03/17 7:37pm
With England locked in a three-way tussle to secure the international services of Joshua Bohui, we profile the Manchester United starlet also being chased by France and Ivory Coast...
Joshua Bohui - Factfile
|Club: Manchester United|
|Position: Centre forward|
|Apps (U18s): 22|
|Goals (U18s): 9|
Born in London to an English mother and Ivorian father, Bohui joined Brentford's academy aged 11.
Nurtured through the Bees' ranks, Bohui broke into the youth team aged 15 before progressing into the west London club's U21 squad ahead of schedule.
Blessed with devastating pace and work-rate that belies his age, the youngster's two goals in 12 youth team appearances caught United's eye, and he signed a three-year deal in August 2016.
Life at United
Signed in time to feature for United in the Otten Cup, PSV's annual youth friendly tournament, Bohui was thrust into one of world football's best academies.
It proved to be a learning curve for Bohui as United's youngsters lost on penalties to Anderlecht in the final in Eindhoven.
Bohui took his time to settle in Manchester as he adapted to the surroundings of a substantially bigger club.
Head coach Kieran McKenna has seen promising signs though, most notably in November's U18 Premier League victory over Derby, and is confident United can help Bohui fulfil his potential.
"Josh has been really pleasing over the last month," he told the club's official website. "He found it tough to settle as it was a big move, coming up from London and a smaller club in Brentford.
"He didn't find the transition easy but we kept encouraging him to keep his head down and develop his game in training.
"We looked at individual specific things in terms of the role we feel he can play going forward and he did fantastic against Derby, putting all those things into place.
"He played centre-forward and led the line really well and scored a goal as well."
I'm sure, if he keeps his head down and keeps working hard, once he has had time to settle in and get a feel for the club, he can go on and have a good part to play.
Man Utd U18 coach Kieran McKenna
Bohui was named in Steve Cooper's England U17 squad for the Algarve Tournament in February 2016.
Having sat out the opening-game draw with Portugal, he made his debut two days later in a 2-2 draw with Germany.
He didn't feature in the final game - a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands, which saw England eliminated - but Bohui left a lasting impression enough to earn a recall for that summer's European U17 Championship in Azerbaijan.
An unused substitute again in the opening fixture, Bohui came off the bench as England beat France 2-0 in Baku, before the Young Lions set up a quarter-final with Spain after beating Denmark in their last group game.
With England trailing to an 11th-minute Francisco Garcia goal, Cooper turned to Bohui with 25 minutes remaining but he was unable to inspire as comeback against the eventual runners-up.
Switch of allegiances?
Yet to commit his international future to any nation, Sky Sports News HQ understands Bohui is at the heart of a three-way battle between England, Ivory Coast and France.
The 18-year-old qualifies for England by birth, while his eligibility for France and Ivory Coast comes from his Ivorian father.
The Ivory Coast are particularly interested given their recent success in convincing Wilfried Zaha to represent them at the 2017 African Cup of Nations, despite, like Bohui, having played for England at various levels.
The respective Football Associations of France and Ivory Coast are understood to have contacted Bohui's representatives in a bid to secure his services.
However, at this stage of his fledgling career, there's a strong case his development at club level should take precedence.