With a club the size of Manchester United, the loan system is crucial in the development of many players. Not everyone can get as much game time as they need, so youth players are often sent to lower level teams to gain valuable experience. Many United players of the past and present were sent out on loan to help further their development. Jesse Lingard went through 4 different loan spells before cracking the first team and scoring in 2 cup finals. Even David Beckham spent a year away at Preston North End, and was a much better player because of it. All that considered, here are some United players that should be sent out on loan.
JOEL PEREIRA / SAM JOHNSTONE
United may have the most depth at goalkeeper in world football. David De Gea is arguably the best in the world. Sergio Romero is a World Cup finalist, and has led United to Europa League glory. Sam Johnstone is an England youth international with loads of potential. Joel Pereira is looked toward as the future Portugal number 1, and Mourinho is a massive fan, saying “I think he will be the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation.” Even youth goalkeeper Dean Henderson is solid, winning the U20 World Cup with England. United should do the exact same thing as they did the previous season in terms of Johnstone and Pereira. Joel spent the first half of the season at Belenenses before being recalled in January. When he returned to the club, Johnstone was then sent out to Aston Villa until the end of the season. Neither is good enough to replace De Gea or Romero this upcoming season, and should go out on loan and continue to grow. There is even a chance both can go out, with Henderson staying put as an emergency third string keeper.
There is a lot of hope for Axel Tuanzebe. Breaking into the first team this season, Axel has slowly been implemented more and more into the United lineup. Some decent FA Cup performances kept him on the right path. Following a set of injuries in defence, Axel was then thrust into a Premier League match vs Arsenal late into the season. Some were scared that this might’ve been a jumped too big for the young lad, but they had their worries wiped away quite quickly. Axel was the best defender on the pitch for Manchester, taking Chilean star Alexis Sanchez out of the game. However, game time next season is no guarantee. New signing Lindelof has come in, and there is already depth at the position. Experienced players like Blind, Smalling, and Jones will be ahead of Axel in the pecking order. Instead of using him for the sporadic cup game, Tuanzebe should be sent out on loan to a team that will play him consistently. The game time would give him the vital experience a young centre back needs, and will toughen up the youngster.
James Wilson was the original Marcus Rashford. At the end of a horrific 2013/14 season, then coach Ryan Giggs gave youth academy star James Wilson a chance to shine on the Premier League stage. Wilson took the chance with both hands, scoring twice and putting in a MOTM performance. The future seemed incredibly bright for the Englishman. Since then, his stock has fallen. Two uninspiring loan spells at Brighton and at Derby have dimmed his star. With the rise of Rashford, and imminent signing of Morata, Wilson finds himself on the outside looking in. There still is hope for the lad, so United should not look to sell quite yet. Give him one more chance away, either with a Championship club or a lower quality Premier League side. If he does well, he can force his way back into his first team. If not, United will know that it is time to move on.
One man who greatly benefited from Uniteds Europa League success never featured in the competition. With the final 3 days away, and already set in 6th place, Mourinho fielded a young reserve team in the final Premier League match vs Crystal Palace. Josh Harrop was given a start, and repaid his manager’s faith by grabbing a goal and the MOTM award at the end of the game. It was an especially well taken goal, cutting in from the left side and smashing one back post past the Palace keeper. However, the player is in a tough spot. He is too good for the youth and reserve teams, scoring a hat trick in his last game. However, he does not yet have the quality to break into the United first team. He must take a chance and go out on loan, gaining valuable match time and experience. He will have options, as teams have heard about his recent performances. Consistent first team football would help him become a more consistent player, which is a trait all wingers need. He must capitalise on his momentum and propel himself further up the footballing ladder.