Young central midfielder Davide Petrucci has joined Championship side Charlton Athletic on loan, Manchester United have announced. Having spent some time with Belgian side Royal Antwerp earlier in the season, the Italian will head to South London for the rest of the season.
Charlton have had something of a turbulent season on and off the field. Results have been generally poor and they've been in the relegation struggle for much of the season. Currently, they sit three points above the relegation zone, albeit having played two or three games fewer than most of the teams around them. Off the field, they were bought in January by Roland Duchâtelet, a Belgian businessman, who recently sacked manager Chris Powell and installed José Riga. The squad has undergone something of a revamp as well.
Hopefully, Petrucci will get a decent amount of first-team football as they look to secure their second-tier status. Petrucci, who was signed amid some controversy from Roma in 2008, was sent to Peterborough last season but had his time therre cut short by injury. Indeed, injuries have been a theme of his career at United so far, though on his return from Belgium he was named captain of Warren Joyce's U21-side.
Still, with United's season petering out to a limp conclusion, one option open to David Moyes was to take a look at a few of the youngsters. Petrucci, now 22, is consistently rated highly by watchers of the United youth, but will now have to wait until next season at the earliest for a crack at the first team. In other loan news, Jack Barmby has extended his loan at Hartlepool until the end of the season, and Tom Thorpe has returned to Birmingham City.