Wolves’ new boy Luke Matheson might have just passed his driving test – but he has also ditched his L plates on the pitch.
The exciting right back signed for Wolves in a £1m deal on transfer deadline day and has been loaned back to Rochdale for the rest of the season to continue his development in League One.
Now he has learned to drive, that will save him time getting to train with Dale.
“I only passed my driving test yesterday and that was something I’ve been trying to do since I turned 17,” said the England Under-18 international.
“It will save me two hours of travelling to training at Rochdale a day, so it’s been an amazing week.”
Matheson made national headlines when he scored at Old Trafford for Dale against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup earlier this season – just after receiving his GCSE results.
The teenager cancelled out Mason Greenwood’s strike in a 1-1 draw only for the League One side to go out 5-3 on penalties after facing players such as Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Despite only making his debut at 15 against Bury in the Football League Trophy in September 2018 before he completed his GCSEs, Matheson admits his whirlwind start seems a long time ago now.
“I made my debut however long ago, then I made my first league start in League One, then I scored my first goal at the iconic Old Trafford, then I score my first league goal, first assist – the list goes on and on,” he told www.wolves.co.uk
“Everything’s happened so quick. I would never have expected to even been playing first-team football this year, let alone to have the season that I am having.
“However, I’m happy to be a Wolves player now and continue that journey, but I’ve got to keep maintaining things I’ve been doing that have got me here.”
Wolves sporting director Kevin Thelwell has already said he thinks Matheson will suit the club’s playing system like a hand in a glove at right wing back, and it’s clear the youngster likes to get forward.
“I’m quick, I like to defend, and I like to attack,” he said. “I like to make my opposition think about me, rather than me think about them. That’s an important mentality to have.
“The staff have said what they expect from me and what they want from me, and I’ve just got to make sure I fulfil that. Opportunities will present themselves and I’m sure I’ll take them.”
Matheson admits he wants to make a name for himself at Wolves as quickly as possible.
“I just want to meet the lads, get to know them all and then I want to put in my best performance I possibly can in my first game, regardless of what level that’s for, who that’s for, who that’s against,” he added. “I want to imprint my name into Wolves and then go from there.
“It’s amazing to be part of the pack. It feels incredible to have such a prestigious badge on the front of my shirt.”
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has given numerous Academy graduates a chance at first-team level.
Matheson admits Wolves’ reputation for integrating youngsters and promoting them to first-team football was a big part of his decision to join them.
“Wolves is such a great club, giving constant opportunities in and around the first-team for players my age,” he said.
“That was something that attracted me and I’m looking forward to having that opportunity.
“The facilities are amazing, they are second to none. You’ve got world-class pitches, coaches, facilities for anything and everything. It’s the best footballing place I’ve ever been to.
“It’s always a big factor when you can see that there are opportunities there for young players.
“I am still 17, so I’ve hopefully got a long playing career in football and hope Wolves can give me some opportunities I can grasp in the palm of my hand.
“Regardless of if I’m playing for Rochdale or Wolves, I’ll always give 110 per cent, but I can’t wait to wear the badge for the first time in a proper game.”
Matheson also feels he is ready for the two-division step up, whenever that might come after rejoining Rochdale for the rest of the season.
“Everything I’ve done at Rochdale at the first-team and at the Academy has prepared me for the next step, so I feel like I am ready,” he said.
“I’ve just got to not change my mentality, who I am, I’ve just got to keep everything the same and everything will take care of itself.
“Football is my life. I hope I have a long playing career and if not as a player, I want to go into something else to do with football. Football is everything to me.”
Matheson appears extremely grounded, and is happy to be returning to Rochdale on loan for the rest of the season.
“I’m heading back to Rochdale. They’ve given me constant opportunities from when I was an eight-year-old to now a 17-year-old,” he added.
“I can’t thank them enough. I can’t wait to get back playing for them and getting more experience.”