With 2017 over and the opening of the 2018 January transfer window, we recap how Manchester United’s loan players have fared and which players will potentially be recalled/loaned out.
Timothy Fosu Mensah – Crystal Palace
Arguably the highest ranked loan player with a potentially very bright future at Manchester United, Fosu-Mensah’s decision to stay in the Premier League with Crystal Palace will have gained him invaluable experience. Although he has not played in every single game – most likely down to Palace’s struggles and change in management – he has proved himself a very confident and assured Premier League defender.
His recent form, especially frustrating the tricky Leroy Sane when Manchester City travelled to Selhurst Park, shows how good he can be. Fosu-Mensah has started the past two games and Mourinho will be hoping Hodgson continues to put faith in the Dutch international.
Andreas Pereira – Valencia CF
Pereira has been another name that has gathered plaudits for his performances in La Liga this season. Valencia sit third in the table, three points ahead of Real Madrid. Pereira has been an instrumental part of their success this season, playing in 15 games, scoring once and getting four assists. Valencia finished the winter break with only one win in the last five games however, so they will look to get back on track in 2018.
Pereira has made good use out of his loan move after initially being criticized by Mourinho for not staying and fighting for a first team position at Manchester United. During United’s midfield injury problems, there was talk surrounding a return to Old Trafford, yet Pereira remained in Spain.
Sam Johnstone – Aston Villa
Sam Johnstone has been a rock for Villa this season so far. The 24-year-old keeper has kept 11 clean sheets in 26 appearances, with back-to-back clean sheets in their latest wins against Middlesbrough and Bristol City. Steve Bruce’s side sit fifth in the table five points behind second place Derby County who occupy the automatic promotion spot.
Johnstone has been an essential part of Villa’s success this year and is definitely sort after from multiple clubs, Bruce himself has signaled his desire to keep the keeper at Villa Park after the loan move is finished. After spending the second half of last year’s season with Villa, Johnstone is just two games shy of 50 appearances for the club. Whether or not a permanent deal will be made in January is up for debate; Villa chairman Dr. Tony Xia answered a tweet on Johnstone’s future saying if the club is promoted, Johnstone will be signed.
Just like all stories to fill with newspaper space. He will be with us, hopefully we go up then he will be permanently. I think Villa is his fortunate place.. .— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) January 2, 2018
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Leeds United
Borthwick-Jackson is one player who has struggled during his loan period with Championship Side Leeds United. Leeds sit sixth in the table, holding onto the last play-off spot, but manager Thomas Christensen has preferred Gaetano Berardi in the left-back position so far this season. Borthwick-Jackson has only played one game in the Championship this season, his debut in August. He has featured more prominently in the EFL Cup, playing four games, however, a fourth round loss to Leicester ended any more games in that competition.
Recently, Christensen has said that Borthwick-Jackson will feature in the FA Cup tie against Newport County on Sunday, but would not comment further on the player’s longevity with Leeds United. Rumors are swirling that the loan agreement may be cancelled later this month.
Dean Henderson – Shrewsbury Town
Henderson has been in sensational form for League One side Shrewsbury Town this season. The England U-21 international has kept 11 clean sheets in 24 appearances and has been key to the Shropshire side’s lofty position of second in the table. Manager Paul Hurst has voiced his admiration of the youngster, stating that he is the most consistent goalkeeper in the league.
Henderson does have a recall option in his season-long loan at Shrewsbury Town, and Hurst has also said he believes Henderson wants to stay to the end of the season. With the likes of Joel Pereira and Kieran O’Hara currently backing up Romero and De Gea, a continuation of his loan move will give Henderson great experience.
Matty Willock – FC Utrecht
One of only two players to venture abroad for playing time this season, Willock has struggled to make an impact with Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht. After impressively scoring on his debut against Ajax Amateurs in the KNVB Beker, he has only made three league appearances, the latest being a late substitute in their 2-1 win over Ajax back in November.
Willock has played a handful of games with FC Utrecht’s reserve side to maintain game fitness, but he and Mourinho will be hoping for more game time with the first team or a recall may be the best option for the midfielder.
Regan Poole – Northampton Town
The Welshman has been a spark in League One side Northampton Town’s dismal season, who are 22nd in the table and sit in the relegation zone. The Welshman has played frequently under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side and the classy defender has ventured into a midfield position in the last few games because of his skill on the ball. Despite Northampton languishing in the league, it is vital experience for the young player who will be better for playing league football.
Devonte Redmond – Scunthorpe United
Redmond has found it difficult to be a regular for League One side Northampton Town this season. After signing a season-long loan back in the summer, he has only played once in League One, a late substitute appearance back in August. Manager Graham Alexander said Redmond “ticks all the boxes” when he first signed him, but the pacey midfielder has only prominently featured in their two Carabao Cup games and in the Checkatrade Trophy games. A recall from a unrewarding loan move will be the best option for Redmond to get regular football.