Could more young United players go out on loan?
Manchester United are considering the best options for each young player at the club when it comes to finalising loan moves during this transfer window.
Clubs have until this Thursday, 31 January, to do any transfer business and there could be more Under-23s players who follow Ethan Hamilton and Regan Poole in moving on a temporary basis.
Hamilton signed for Rochdale, while Poole has linked up with his former club Newport County, but our Head of Academy, Nicky Butt , dmits there has been a rethink since initially planning for members of the Under-19 squad to depart for experience.
”Plans change,” said Butt this week. “When a new manager comes in, he has a say. I think he [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] has got a massive say in what happens. What we had previously were plans to get two or three of them out on loan.
"The dynamics have changed now because the two or three lads that were going to go out on loan are now being involved in the training camps, involved in training, on the bench, in the squad.”
Talking to ManUtd.com before Poole’s move was announced, Under-23s coach Ricky Sbragia outlined his thoughts on the subject.
“I think we had a meeting a month ago about the ones for who we felt it was time to go onto the next step of the ladder and play first-team football,” said the Scot.
”It’s not particularly about where you go to play but it needs to be with a team that wants you. It’s about taking that opportunity and Ethan Hamilton has played for Rochdale and done extremely well.
"There are opportunities all the time and you want them to go out on loan to experience the other side of things.
”People have already seen Ethan scored a decent goal and he struck it really well. I’ve watched video clips and he made an extremely good debut [for Rochdale] but that’s to be expected from Ethan. He knows exactly what he wants and he wanted the move. He had a few offers but wants to play football and needs to play football. He’s shown he is capable of playing at that level.
”I hope more deals happen. Before they go on loan, I speak to them and tell them to talk to managers at these clubs – where they’re wanted to play, the expectations and there is a lot more involved. We will see what happens but if we lose maybe two or three players on loan, there will be openings then for Under-18 players to come up.
For Under-18s head coach Neil Ryan, he has been delighted that two of his younger boys – James Garner and Mason Greenwood – were able to spend time in Dubai at the recent training camp. With youngsters regularly invited to work with the senior squad, it is another part of the player-development process.
“A lot of boys throughout the year have had opportunities to train with the first team,” he explained. “It’s been fantastic. They just go up in normal training for them and that level of intensity, with the technical skills when playing with some of the world’s best players, is just great experience for them. When they’ve trained with the senior team, they come back and seem a little bit sharper and brighter.
“It’s always our job with the youth-team players to ensure, when they get the call to step up, they are ready mentally but also physically and technically. We have good communication with the senior staff, with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and Mike [Phelan], plus the good communication lines through Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.”