After a difficult 12 months which included the end of his Manchester United dream, Zak Dearnley’s career is back up and running.

Last January, Dearnley was the one Manchester United player signed on loan by Paul Scholes during his short lived stint as Oldham Athletic manager.

Dearnley impressed, but his spell was cut short by injury. By June, he was released by United, along with 13 other youth team players.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)

The young striker’s attempts to find a club in the summer were not straightforward.


He was linked in the Turkish press to Bursaspor, before going on trial at Rotherham United, the Advertiser reported.

But continued fitness issues scuppered a deal, and he ended the summer transfer window without a club.

Second chance

In November he joined New Mills, Non-League Daily reported to keep fit and get back to sharpness.

This paid off in January when former loan side Oldham handed him a deal until the summer, with an option of a further year, following a successful trial, the club confirmed.

He told the club website: “I had a bit of time out of football, some things happened, I’ve reflected on it and learnt from it. So I’m getting fit now and happy to be back at Oldham.

“It was good to detach yourself away from football sometimes as it can be demanding and allowed me to just get back to basics, relax, chill-out and recover.”

At the weekend Dearnley scored his first goal for Oldham, netting the opener 11 minutes into a 3-0 victory over Bradford City in the League Two clash.

He capitalised on a defensive mistake and finished in a clinical fashion.

Dearnley once made United’s first team bench, in Jose Mourinho’s experimental side against Crystal Palace in 2017.

Injuries prevented him from kicking on at United, and the past few months have not been straightforward for the 21-year-old.

Now he finally has his career second chance, and his weekend goal gives him a platform to kick on from.

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