Manchester United released eight players at the end of last week and young goalkeeper Jacob Carney was the most unfortunate to be cut.

It’s unclear whether this was a move he was pushing for himself so he could stand a better chance of playing regular football – like Iestyn Hughes’ choice to sign for Leicester and Arnau Puigmal’s preference to return to Spain, or United took the decision themselves.

Either way, Carney appears to have a bright future ahead of him and won’t be short of offers.

Manchester United U23 v Liverpool U23: Premier League 2
(Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Goalkeeper with a bright future

United have several young goalkeepers even after released Carney, Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira.

Matej Kovar, Ondrej Mastny, Radek Vitek, Johan Guadagno and Dermot Mee are among the shot stoppers in the under-23s and under-18s.

So it is easy to see how United considered Carney to be expendable, or how he saw it was in his own interests to move on.

But Carney has experience not many of his peers have, with the exception of Kovar, and that is first team experience on loan.

Carney has been out on loan three times already at the age 20.

Two of these have been to non-league sides, tricky for a young goalkeeper, and the third and most recent was to Northern Irish top flight side Portadown.

While at Portadown, Carney received several accolades including man of the match awards and a player of the month award for February.

In March he was praised by his manager Matthew Tipton who told the Newsletter: “Most opposition managers single out Jacob after our games and I am just delighted with everything overall since he joined the club. I would love him to stay with us again next season and he has really settled in well since moving over to Northern Ireland.

 

“One massive bonus Jacob gives us is his kicking ability and that decision-making to quickly get us on the frontfoot.”

Interest building

Carney will be a free agent from July and while Portadown would love to bring him back, he reportedly has interest from three English clubs including two in the Premier League.

The Sun reported Burnley are keen on landing the 20-year-old, and the print edition (16/5 p59) also reported Brighton are interested along with Sunderland.

Carney is an interesting option for teams because he is first team ready, unlike a lot of goalkeepers who come through the youth ranks.

While he still has plenty of developing to do, Carney is on the right track.

Dean Henderson has just reached United’s first team this past season and he began the early part of his career on lower league loans. It had appeared that United were grooming Carney along the same path, by sending him out early on loans to gain experience.

Whether his choice or United’s, player and club have now parted ways. Perhaps there was never a real route in for him at Old Trafford, but as Tom Heaton is showing with his expected return, there could be a path back one day if he can establish himself over the next few years.

Staying at United would have meant more loans, and he may simply want a bit more stability and a clearer path to first team playing time, which simply wasn’t there at Old Trafford.

The youngster has a bright future ahead, providing he makes the right call with his next step, and continues to seize his opportunities.

Have something to tell us about this article?