Regan Poole at Newport County.

How United players fared on loan this season

Some of Manchester United's young players have gained plenty of experience, be it highs or lows, while away from the club on loan this season.

The thinking behind the loans process is always for footballers to learn new things, on and off the field, and deal with scenarios that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers.

That has certainly been the case again in 2018/19 as the young Reds contended with changes in managers, high-pressure games at both ends of the table and even off-the-field matters affecting their temporary clubs.

Tim Fosu-Mensah in action.
Tim Fosu-Mensah in action during Fulham's clash with Liverpool.

CAMERON BORTHWICK-JACKSON – SCUNTHORPE UNITED

Often a regular starter with The Iron, he racked up 29 league appearances and will benefit from the momentum of playing so much football at League One level. At left-back, he displayed a desire to get forward and an obvious highlight was October's 5-3 win over Charlton Athletic, when he scored both of his goals for Scunthorpe. Borthwick-Jackson settled in the local area as he embraced the loan but unfortunately the 22-year-old experienced relegation as the Lincolnshire outfit lost their fight to stay up.

ZAK DEARNLEY – OLDHAM ATHLETIC

There was a chance to work under Paul Scholes with the Latics but the United legend left the job after just 31 days, citing off-field issues at the League Two club. Although the forward scored on his debut against Crawley Town, and made a further eight outings, he picked up an injury last month that cut short his spell at Boundary Park.

TIM FOSU-MENSAH – FULHAM

A second successive season-long loan move in the Premier League ended when the defender suffered a knee-ligament injury. The Dutch youngster was part of Slavisa Jokanovic’s plans until the Cottagers manager was replaced by Claudio Ranieri. When the Italian then departed, Scott Parker recalled the 21-year-old and he played in the home game against Liverpool, one of 12 league appearances in total – 10 as a starter for the relegated Londoners.

ETHAN HAMILTON – ROCHDALE

The Scottish midfielder adapted well to life in senior football and can certainly view the move as an overall success. He smashed a spectacular goal on his Dale debut against Peterborough and showed he has the physical attributes to handle the step up. A winner in the penultimate fixture against Bristol Rovers helped Rochdale preserve their League One status and the 20-year-old will have attracted some attention for his performances.

DEAN HENDERSON – SHEFFIELD UNITED

The Championship’s Golden Glove winner was a firm favourite with the Bramall Lane faithful from the outset. This was the latest success story for the England Under-21 international as he was a key figure in a remarkable promotion campaign for the Blades, who will return to the Premier League after finishing as runners-up to Norwich City. While showing he was capable of making some stunning saves, and keeping alert despite being behind a well-drilled and effective defence, he also displayed a real winning mentality throughout the entire season.

DEMI MITCHELL – HEARTS

The attacking left-back linked up again with the Edinburgh side last summer after a hugely impressive spell in the Scottish capital in the previous season. After making 23 appearances in all competitions, and scoring once – in the Scottish FA Cup tie against Auchinleck – he sustained a knee problem while taking a shot in that tie which necessitated a premature return to the Aon Training Complex. The 20-year-old will hope for better fortune in 2019/20.

Demi Mitchell takes on a defender.
Demi Mitchell suffered an injury while playing for Hearts in Scotland.

KIERAN O’HARA – MACCLESFIELD TOWN

The end of the season was one to remember for the Republic of Ireland youngster as he helped the Silkmen avoid relegation from League Two on the final day and ended up winning three prizes (Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year) in their annual awards. Sol Campbell’s arrival as manager boosted the Cheshire club's fortunes and O'Hara was a key figure in the campaign, making 42 appearances and impressing the boss, fellow players and the fans at Moss Rose.

JOEL PEREIRA – KORTRIJK

The keeper returned from a spell in Portugal with Vitoria Setubal and accepted a new challenge in the Belgian top flight. The team is still chasing a potential route into the Europa League as they only need a draw with Saint-Gilloise to earn a play-off place in the European competition. The Portugal Under-21 international has faced a fight for the no.1 jersey.

REGAN POOLE – NEWPORT COUNTY

The centre-back [pictured in the main image above] returned to his former club in January and helped spark a rapid climb up the League Two table, while also appearing in some huge games. He played well as County performed gamely in losing to Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup, after knocking Middlesbrough out in the previous round. Poole was influential again when the Welsh side secured a play-off final spot against Tranmere Rovers this week, converting his penalty in the shoot-out triumph over Mansfield Town.

TOM SANG – AFC FYLDE

The versatile Liverpudlian joined the National League promotion chasers at the end of the January window after impressing in a training game against Bury. He was part of the Coasters squad that clinched a place at Wembley in the FA Trophy final on 19 May, by beating Stockport County, but he didn't feature when Fylde lost the play-off final to the Class of '92's club, Salford City, last weekend.

Kieran O'Hara makes a save.
Kieran O'Hara enjoyed his time with Macclesfield Town in League Two.

AXEL TUANZEBE – ASTON VILLA

By returning from injury to help fuel the Midlanders’ promotion bid, he has again attracted plaudits for his mixture of strength and composure at the heart of the defence. This is his second stint with Villa and he is clearly enjoying working under Dean Smith and John Terry, who obviously knows a few things about defending. The chance to play in the pressure-cooker atmosphere in the play-offs will only aid the classy centre-back.

CALLUM WHELAN – PORT VALE

When former Macclesfield Town and Shrewsbury manager John Askey took over as Vale boss in early February, the United midfielder was unable to force his way into the first team. He did appear in the Reserves for the League Two outfit as the club finished in 20th spot to avoid dropping into the National League.

MATTY WILLOCK – CRAWLEY TOWN

The midfielder spent the first part of the campaign in Scotland with St Mirren but was on the move again in January, when linking up with Crawley. He made 14 appearances for the Buddies and another 11 in League Two, forcing his way into the line-up towards the end of the term. Crawley coach Gabriele Cioffi praised Willock’s attitude and work ethic when the deal expired.

JAMES WILSON – ABERDEEN

The striker is ending the campaign on a positive note after helping set up both goals in the Dons’ 2-1 win over Hearts. He will have been disappointed not to find the net at Celtic, when the Bhoys clinched the title recently, when he did everything but score in a performance full of threat but was unable to take his chances. ‘Willo’ scored three goals in 11 starts, and has come off the bench on 12 occasions as Derek McInnes’s side battled for a place in next season’s Europa League.

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