You have to spare a thought for rising Manchester United talent Luca Ercolani.
The centre-back played four times for United’s under-23 team in August before disaster struck.
The Italian’s season was wiped out as he suffered a torn ACL. He then underwent an operation in September.
Now 10 months on, Ercolani is making a good recovery as he works his way back from a career threatening blow.
The young defender has posted images on his Instagram feed over the past few weeks showing how he is in great physical shape, looking even stronger than he did before.
The Italy under-20 international was handed a new contract at the end of May, the club announced.
His deal at Manchester United was only due to run until June 2020. With the academy season over, it would have been a shame if Ercolani had already played his last game as a Red Devil ending on such a sour note.
He will get another shot
This year was going to be a pivotal one for him. He had conceded just two goals in the four games he played before injury, and United were looking for him to step up as one of the main men for the under-23s.
Now he has lost a season, and there are young players like Teden Mengi and Dishon Bernard who are catching the eye in his position.
Ercolani has been in good hands. United’s training staff and physios have also been helping Timothy Fosu-Mensah recover from an ACL tear.
United have given him another chance, and he now has to make up for lost time.
That could be on loan, or through another season with the under-23s. He looks in great shape, and the way he has responded to his setback surely helped his cause.
Now he has to show United they made the right decision not to release him.
Even if the step up into United’s team proves too difficult amid heavy competition, the next 12 months can go a long way towards shaping the direction of his career, and the opportunities which will open up for him in 2021.
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