Manchester United youngster George Tanner is on his second loan spell of the season, and it is yet to get started.
With uncertainty over the rest of the league season due to the season being halted, there is a possibility Tanner does not play a game on loan for Salford City.
Tanner, 20, made 29 appearances for League Two side Morecambe in the first half of the season.
Despite his regular playing time there, Tanner was recalled and moved to Gary Neville’s Salford, also in the same division, during the January transfer window.
Move yet to pay off
Tanner has not yet been involved in a matchday squad for Salford since his loan switch.
Now nearly two months since his move, Tanner’s absence from Salford’s squad has been unexplained.
Salford’s boss Graham Alexander has not mentioned Tanner in any of his news conferences, so his absence has been a little of a mystery.
Reason for Tanner’s absence
Sources close to the player have explained to United In Focus that Tanner was initially told he had to fight for his place in the first team.
While Tanner worked to try and get an opportunity, he picked up an injury and this has seen him miss their more recent matches.
Assuming the season eventually continues, the break should end up benefitting Tanner, giving him more chance to recover to full fitness.
Salford are in 10th in League Two, seven points off a play-off place.
His former side Morecambe are down in 22nd, and so while they will have been frustrated that he was taken from them, he is not simply being denied an opportunity at Salford instead, he just has not been fully fit lately.
There are potentially enough games left for the youngster to make this loan spell still worthwhile if he gets the backing of his manager.
Realistically it is tough to see Tanner making the grade at Manchester United, based on the level he is currently playing at and his expiring contract.
His deal at United runs out this summer, and just like Regan Poole last summer who excelled in League Two with Newport County, Tanner is likely to be released.
That’s an assumption on our part, rather than fact or inside knowledge, but there is a lot of competition for places, and at 20, he will want to play regular football after having a good taste of it at Morecambe.
The Manchester Evening News reported in the last transfer window that both Derby County and Blackburn Rovers had been monitoring him.
Tanner will be particularly keen to make the most of the last few weeks if the season resumes. His efforts could help him land his next move.
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