Will there be a place for these Manchester United loanees when their deals expire?
As good a manager José Mourinho is, there has been one criticism levelled at him time and time again, which is his youth policy. Many times, Mourinho has been labelled as a solution manager – someone who comes in for three to four years, wins you trophies and then leaves for another team. With this style of management, there is little to no time for bringing through young player from the academy for the future of the club as you are under pressure to produce instant results.
When the former Chelsea boss was appointed Manchester United manager, there was a fear from supporters of the club that he would bring this type of cut-throat instant turnover to the club thus ignoring the club’s youth policy and selling or stagnating young players.
Many pundits and fans somewhat overreacted when promising fringe players like Andreas Pereira, Cameron Borthwick Jackson, Adnan Januzaj, Guillermo Varela, and James Wilson were loaned out to earn some valuable minutes, with many saying that this was the start of Mourinho discarding United’s youth players and breaking up their youth system. The sales of Paddy McNair, Donald Love, Will Keane, and James Weir did not help his cause even though those players for different circumstances were never going to make it at United.
The depth of the current United squad means that a lot of the returning loanees could make it back into contention for the first team with a string of consistent performances for their current clubs. Someone like Andreas Pereira, an immensely gifted Brazilian attacking midfielder, has the talent to easily force his way into the first team for United due to the uncertainty at United with regards to the number 10 role.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson also has a chance to battle Luke Shaw for the left-back slot, as he is a solid defender, decent going forward and definitely trumps Marcos Rojo in that position. James Wilson however, finds himself in an unfortunate situation as he has four players currently ahead of him in the pecking order for striker. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial will be called upon ahead of him, thus making it look as though he will be offloaded upon his return to the team.
The only player with an uncertain future is Adnan Januzaj, who; after putting on a disrespectful attitude when told to train with the under-23’s, was loaned out to join David Moyes’ Sunderland.
Overall, Mourinho’s team building will be brought to the forefront in the next few seasons, if he stays that long, because Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and veteran midfielder Michael Carrick are getting up there in age, meaning that these players would have to be moved on fairly soon, opening doors for these loan players to come in and stamp their places in the first team.
With all these players potentially coming in and out of the club, it is safe to say that, that Manchester United squad will look a lot different in a couple of years. These players however, are not in any way a negative on Manchester United, as it demonstrates that they have many quality options and it puts United’s academy in good light, as it shows the quality of players they are producing year on year from their academy.
All the players that were mentioned in this article have played for the Manchester United academy at some point in their young careers. The bottom line is, United have got a lot of young players who need go prove themselves go secure an active future at Old Trafford.
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