Manchester United have waved goodbye to a few talented youngsters in recent years.
The latest to head for pastures new is Arnau Puigmal. Swapping Old Trafford for Almeria, the midfielder will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Largie Ramazzani.
Both players were at United prior to their Spanish switch, so how is Puigmal faring?
It is very early days, but the 20-year-old has at least featured for the first-team, which was a distant prospect at United. So far, Puigmal has made the match-day squad on five occasions, coming off the bench four times.
A one-minute cameo for his debut gave him little time to impress. He then featured for 11 minutes in a second successive victory.
Those early wins suggested Puigmal could play a part in a promotion push. However, Almeria have slipped to two defeats in their next three. At this stage, the former United prospect’s new club are fourth in the second tier.
Puigmal was thrown on at half-time against Amorebieta with the scores level. But he was unable to inspire a victory and his side ultimately lost 2-1.
Those 45 minutes were the most he has got since leaving United. The next game he was an unused substitute (in a 2-0 win) and, most recently, he played 17 minutes on Sunday.
Learning from example
Interestingly, former United winger Ramazzani had a similar start to life in Spain. He had to be patient but, this season, he has started every match.
He even scored a brace on the opening day of the new campaign, so Puigmal will know his chance will come if he follows his one-time United teammate’s example.
Puigmal’s impact is likely to be less headline-worthy. But he did score 10 times in 28 outings for United’s U23s so he knows where the goal is.
The midfielder is the latest in an increasingly long line of young prospects to leave United. Joining the likes of Ramazzani and Angel Gomes, Puigmal will be hoping his decision is justified.
He certainly has the talent to ultimately excel in his homeland. The challenge for now is to bed into his new surroundings and then show what he can do.
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