Nathan Bishop could have a big future at Manchester United. But the next few years will be crucial in his development.
Like another young goalkeeper before him, Bishop needs a fine loan spell or two. From there, the sky could be the limit.
Dean Henderson’s two-year loan at Sheffield United saw him blossom. He returned to Old Trafford with the bit between hit teeth. And he now looks to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice stopper.
Three loan spells came before that. But Henderson’s patience and hard work has paid off and Bishop should take note.
The 21-year-old needs to kick on. And next season offers the ideal chance.
He already has experience of first-team football, racking up 39 games for Southend prior to his United switch. And he will be desperate to taste that again.
Bishop made the bench twice during United’s march to the Europa League final. He was also in the match-day squad for one Premier League game. But he needs to step up now.
A loan move to Mansfield Town is ideal. The switch was confirmed last week (BBC) and now the United youngster can get ready for regular starts.
United signed Bishop on the back of his fine first-team outings in League One. So his quality is not in question. He now needs to show that week in, week out in the fourth tier.
Bishop’s chance beckons
It is not easy to break through at United. It is even harder when you are a ‘keeper. Yet there could be a path for Bishop.
If he does well over the next few years on loan, he could return as Henderson’s deputy.
By then, David de Gea should be long gone. And, if he fulfils his potential, Henderson may be one of Europe’s finest.
But every great club needs two top stoppers and Bishop should be fully focused on the future.
United will want to see what he can do in League Two next season. If he looks at how things worked out for the club’s new number one, that should be the only inspiration he needs.