Welcome back to an end of season loan round-up, compiling the notable events of the past month, along with discussing the possible future of this year’s crop of loanees, whether it be in, or away from Old Trafford.
First things first, special credit must go to young keeper Sam Johnstone, having achieved promotion to the Championship with Preston North End, as he kept a clean sheet in their 4-0 victory over Swindon in the Play-off final to ensure he ended his season on a high. Given his impressive form this season, and United’s potential Goalkeeping dilemma for the summer, it would be no surprise to see him join the senior squad on the pre-season tour.
Someone who didn’t enjoy his Wembley experience so much was Tom Cleverley. After a resurgent Villa lost their footing in recent weeks, they were humbled 4-0 by Arsenal, as the Gunners retained their FA Cup. The midfielder left for Everton last week and it’s no real surprise- or disappointment- for United fans.
Those two players aside, there was little else for the loanees to celebrate, so it’s time to have a look who may face an uncertain future at Manchester United. This list is a very vague description of what may happen, and, as someone who hasn’t watched a huge amount of lower league football, there may also be a few surprises in store.
As stated, Sam Johnstone is likely to attend the summer tour, with his credentials enhanced after enjoying a successful season on loan, keeping plenty of clean sheets in the process. As for Ben Amos, the keeper, now 24 must surely want to further his career after gaining a handful of appearances whilst on loan at Bolton and playing u21 football is not enough for him; Verdict: Sell.
Guillermo Varela: After a surprise move to Real Madrid on deadline day, the Uruguayan right back has spent a season under Zinedine Zidane for the Castilla side amongst Martin Odegaard. Despite their form faltering at the end of the season, a small fee is required to make the deal permanent, and so perhaps it is anticipated he will make the switch to Madrid. Verdict: Will be sold to Real Madrid Castilla.
Saidy Janko: The 2013/14 Reserve player of the year was sent out on loan after making his first team debut in the infamous MK Dons Capital One Cup game. Gained experience on loan at Bolton scoring some key goals in the process. Verdict: Expect to stay, but may not go on the pre-season tour.
Reece James: “Our friend Reece James” also was in and out of the u21 side, as well as going on loan with both Rotherham and Huddersfield. Reportedly signed a new contract at the end of January, he will look to secure a place on the tour, as well as building on the success he gained last summer, scoring twice in the thumping win over LA Galaxy. Verdict: Stays, will go on tour.
Ben Pearson: The highly-rated midfielder saw his trade learnt in League One with Barnsley, earning the praises of his manager and picking up some man of the match awards in the process. Some suspected that, had 4th place been secured earlier, he may have featured in the end of season games too. Verdict: There were a few raised eyebrows when he didn’t go on tour last summer, will hope to feature this time around.
Jesse Lingard: After suffering a serious injury on the opening day defeat against Swansea, Lingard then spent the second half of the season at Derby, as they imploded from top of the league to finishing outside the play-offs, culminating in Steve McLaren’s sacking. Also signed a new ‘long term deal’ at United before leaving on loan. Verdict: Stay and will go on tour.
Nani: The Portuguese man of mystery has had a mixed season at Sporting Lisbon, securing the Portuguese cup in the process, but his future is widely expected to leave Manchester, with Everton a possible destination. However, the 3 years remaining on a £100k/pw contract courtesy of our previous Scottish manager could prove a sticking point. Verdict: Sold.
Angelo Henriquez: The striker has had a great season with Dinamo Zagreb, scoring 29 times in all competitions as they won the league. However, he has had little chance to impress since joining in 2013 and with a small fee to make his move permanent, he may move. However, it may be worth considering taking him on the tour, as a final chance. Verdict: Take a risk, potentially take on tour.
Javier Hernandez: The ‘Little Pea’ endured a season on loan at Real Madrid that demonstrated most of what United fans saw last season; little game time, a few goals, and a few social media ‘toys out of pram’ episodes. Told he was not wanted by Madrid, and has been reportedly been told similar by LVG. However, to play Devil’s advocate, given the lack of impression by a certain Colombian striker, could a poacher add something to United’s line-up next season? Verdict: Likely to be sold.