Kerr Smith spent a week training with Manchester United earlier this season – but Dundee United defender Mark Connolly is glad he’s staying at Dundee United.

The 16-year-old defender made his debut midweek as the Arabs lost 3-0 to Kilmarnock, although the centre-back shone alongside Connolly. He is being tracked by Premier League outfits, Manchester United taking him down south for a week’s training at the start of this campaign before Smith signed his first professional deal at Dundee United.

Manchester United Training Session

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are admirers. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Fellow-youngsters in Flo Hoti and Archie Meekison also started the match at Rugby Park and Connolly has raved over the 16-year-old attracting interest from Manchester United plus Dundee United’s blossoming academy/

He said: “We are bitterly disappointed with the end result and the three goals all came from mistakes. Other than the goals, I thought we did quite well. There was our 16-year-old centre-half (Smith) who was fantastic and Flo in midfield was brilliant. Young Archie came on and was fantastic, too.

“I want to help as much as I can. I went away to Wolves and Bolton probably too early – I left my apprenticeship at Wolves with Mick McCarthy too early. Kerr signed a new deal here and it’s fantastic. He could have gone elsewhere but he’s chosen to stay here and that’s fantastic.

Hibernian v Dundee United - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

The Dundee United defender is impressed. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“He’s training with us every day, doesn’t look out of place and all I can do is help him as much as I can with my experience. I can help him with the mistakes I have made all through my career, and tell him after the game how brilliant he was, which he was.

“He made a few mistakes but everyone does. The positives far outweighed the negatives. This football club is wanting to go in a direction and you saw a glimpse of that on Wednesday night. Those three boys played on Wednesday but others did, too. Jamie Robson came through the academy. Louis Appere came through the academy.”

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