Loan Watch update: In-form Fish
Manchester United defender Will Fish has made an early impression during his season-long loan with Stockport County and rounded off the club’s pre-season by being named Man of the Match in Saturday’s final friendly against Fleetwood Town.
Ahead of that season kicking off on Saturday (21 August), when Dagenham & Redbridge are the visitors to Edgeley Park, Stockport continued to finalise their preparations during a 3-3 draw with Fleetwood Town at the weekend, in which Fish picked up the star-man award for his performance against a young XI from the League One outfit.
It is a first temporary move away from United for the centre-back, who made his Premier League debut on the final day of the previous term against Wolves, as he bids to gain regular experience of senior football over the coming season.
“Playing against a young Fleetwood side, they gave us a different task,” he said on County’s official YouTube channel.
“At the end of the day, it’s a pre-season game, a load of us got 90 minutes and we’re ready for next week now.”
On his time at Stockport since joining in July, he added: “I’ve enjoyed it, all the lads are sound. There’s a really good vibe around the place.”
The midfielder played 90 minutes in the club’s 2-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday, with his only prior experience of professional football coming during his first-team debut for United, off the bench, in the Europa League fixture at FC Astana in 2019/20.
Upon his move to the Keepmoat Stadium last week, Doncaster manager and former Red Richie Wellens expressed his delight at being able to bring the Northern Ireland international to the club.
He told Rovers’ club media: "I’m delighted, we’ve secured a top footballer. He’s played in the Under-23s for a couple of years and needs the opportunity to play first-team football.
"I think in terms of ability he has every chance of being a top player, I’m looking forward to seeing how he adapts to the physicality of this level.”
Defender Di’Shon Bernard, who has joined Hull City on loan for the 2021/22 season, made his competitive bow for the Tigers in their Carabao Cup tie against Wigan Athletic last Tuesday, while Facundo Pellistri made his second debut for Deportivo Alaves at the weekend having rejoined the Spanish club on loan for the campaign, coming off the bench to feature in the club's La Liga opener against Real Madrid.
Axel Tuanzebe could make his own second debut for Aston Villa during this weekend’s visit of Newcastle United, after returning to Villa Park for a second temporary spell earlier this summer. The defender was an unused substitute in the Villans’ Premier League opener at Watford on Saturday.
Speaking of debuts, Tahith Chong made his for Birmingham City with a Man-of-the-Match-winning display during the Blues’ victory in their Championship opener at Sheffield United earlier this month, but has unfortunately been unable to build on that performance as of yet, having missed the two games since due to injury.
Encouragingly, head coach Lee Bowyer has since suggested that our winger is in contention to return to the pitch for the Midlands club during Wednesday’s (18 August) league game against Bournemouth.
Meanwhile in League Two, young goalkeeper Nathan Bishop has started all three of Mansfield’s matches so far this season during his loan with the Stags and will be looking to make that number four during Tuesday's trip to Colchester United.
And last but not least, up in Scotland, full-back Reece Devine has kicked on from an impressive debut for St Johnstone with Europa League experience against Turkish giants Galatasaray in recent weeks, before more recently playing just shy of 80 minutes, and winning a penalty, as the Saints overcame Arbroath in the Scottish League Cup.