Manchester United have not made use of the loan market to the same extend as, say, Chelsea, in recent years.
There has long been a belief that developing at United is better for a young footballer’s education than a spell elsewhere, and if they’re good enough, they’ll get a chance at Old Trafford.
However, the early signs are that transfer approach is changing as the pressure grows on United to make the right transfer decisions with the latest talented generation coming through…
More loans can be beneficial
Tatith Chong and Aliou Traore have already agreed loan deals for the 2020/21 season.
And, as per the MEN, James Garner, Matej Kovar and Dylan Levitt are expected to spend the coming campaign away from Old Trafford.
All three are promising players, with Garner and Levitt already having featured for the first team. If the loans go well, they could accelerate their future prospects.
In contrast, Angel Gomes didn’t have a single loan spell during his time at United.
He remained highly rated but didn’t get that exposure to men’s football, where the result really matters each week, and left the club this summer.
Gomes joined Lille – then went straight on loan, to Boavista.
Pressure on more generally
There is no one size fits all approach to player development, and United must make the right calls to ensure the latest talented generation don’t go the way of Gomes, or Ravel Morrison beforehand.
The successful development of Dean Henderson out on loan at Sheffield United should provide inspiration.
A spell away from United can do wonders for a player’s career, putting them in the spotlight in a way they couldn’t hope to be at Old Trafford right now.
It’s not just young players, either. Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez went out on loan in 2019/20; the former is reportedly wanted by sides at home and abroad (90Min) and the latter has already gone.
Meanwhile, Phil Jones lingered around all season, and the chances of offloading him this summer look far slimmer.
Loans can be used for a variety of reasons; to prepare a player for life at Old Trafford, give them a shot lower down the pyramid or drumming up transfer interest in unwanted senior players.
United have long needed to get smarter in their use of the loan market and the early signs are that they finally are. That’s good news for the current crop.
Manchester United loan exits 20/21
- Aliou Traore
SM Caen (season)
- Joel Pereira
Huddersfield Town (season)
- Andreas Pereira
- Diogo Dalot
AC Milan (season)
- Di’Shon Bernard
Salford City (until end of season)
- Jake Carney
- Ethan Laird
MK Dons (Jan to end of season)
- Jesse Lingard
West Ham (Jan to end of season)
- James Garner
Nottingham Forest (Jan to end of season)
- Tahith Chong
Club Brugge (Jan to end of season)
- Facundo Pellistri
Alaves (Jan to end of season)
- Teden Mengi
Derby (Jan to end of season)
- Dylan Levitt
NK Istra (Feb to end of season)