Though Manchester United already have more than 10 players out on loans across Europe, fans will be wondering if more of the club’s young academy talent will be sent out in search of first-team football.
The truth is that United’s squads at under-23 and under-18 level aren’t stacked with depth.
Any loan moves will have to be carefully considered and selected. Nicky Butt will play a big part in that as Head of First Team Development.
He’ll be aided by Les Parry, who’s in charge of the players who go out on loan from the club. Others involved in the decision making will probably include John Murtough, Neil Ryan and Neil Wood. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to play a big part in any loan moves.
Should Largie Ramazani be loaned out, and where?
18-year-old winger Largie Ramazani has come into his own after promotion to the under-23s set-up. He was a good player in the under-18s, having moved to the club from London after a spell at Charlton Athletic. He never stood out in a serious way, though.
Ramazani has flourished in an under-23s team that is well-balanced this season. With 16 starts under his belt, he’s scored 10 goals and made two assists. A UEFA Europa League debut presented itself when United took a young team to Kazakhstan to face Astana.
More chances in that competition would have been good but they weren’t forthcoming. A loan would be a great opportunity for Ramazani to test himself against more senior players. He’ll need to bulk up, in a similar way to Tahith Chong, and continue to improve his decision-making.
The thing stopping the Belgian-Burundi forward from leaving United is that he’s a key player for the under-23s and a regular starter. The club won’t prioritise success of the under-23s over the development of Ramazani but he’s playing every week.
A loan would have to be carefully chosen to ensure regular game time for Ramazani. That would probably mean going to a lower league side, potentially in League One or League Two. United may see no point in such a move and work on Ramazani at home.
Verdict: This one is possible if the right club shows interest.
Ethan Laird could have Manchester United loan chance
Laird has been given a couple of chances in the United first team. The right-back was always seen as a more exciting prospect than Brandon Williams, the left-back who has taken to the first team like a fish to water. Laird is an explosive, attacking full-back whose directness is brilliant to watch.
A loan move is perhaps a little too early for him. He’s also being given more chances recently and the departure of Ashley Young would see those become increasingly frequent. Next season is a more likely time for Laird to head out on loan.
Another obstacle to a United exit is Laird’s injury history. The Englishman has struggled to stay fit at the club in recent seasons. Having now recovered, he could do with a spell of sustained football in the under-23s to get back into the rhythm of constant progression.
Verdict: Loan might not be right and United should keep him.
Dylan Levitt or James Garner will benefit from loans and first team football
The Anglo-Welsh partnership have played together at United since they were kids. Both have the talent to be getting first team chances and both have received it – Garner more so than his mate.
While Garner needs to bulk up a bit, as with almost every young footballer at a Premier League academy, Levitt could flourish in men’s football.
They’ve both got the right attitude to enjoy a loan spell away from United. Garner is a regular fixture in the travelling squad for Solskjaer and so Levitt may be the more likely to leave.
If he is to go, he’ll have a better chance than Laird or Ramazani of finding a higher-level club. Levitt has been involved in Ryan Giggs’ Wales set-up on numerous occasions and has made his United debut.
Those two factors simply make him a higher-profile player. Being regularly involved in first team squads, if not starting, at a Championship side would be a good level for Levitt. He’d struggle to be a first team player already at any side in that division.
Garner was reportedly wanted by both Preston and Wigan on loan earlier in the season [The Sun]. If United sign a midfielder this month then it is possible either side choose to renew interest.
Verdict: Both could happen and would benefit from moves
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