Unlike some elite clubs such as
Manchester City and Chelsea, Manchester United do not have an extensive
loanee list. Their transfer policy not usually been directed towards
signing players without any intention of them being involved in
the nine players currently out on loan from Old Trafford, six are those
who progressed through the club’s academy while the remaining three are
former first-team players who fell out of favour.
recently used the loan market to its advantage when landing Nigerian
striker Odion Ighalo in January, so we assess how those on temporary
moves away from Manchester are getting on.
Alexis Sanchez (Inter)
has a transfer promised so much yet delivered so little as the Chilean
forward’s move to Old Trafford from Arsenal in January 2018. A prolonged
run of poor form saw him shipped out to Serie A last summer (although
United are still subsidising a large chunk of the wage bill) and,
despite initial signs of promise, his stint at Inter has been savaged by
He has made just two league starts and only one
in the last six months – the February derby win over Milan – and failed
to make an impact in the recent defeats to Juventus and Lazio.
Nerazzurri have made multiple permanent signings this season –
including Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young from United – but they are
unlikely to make it a hat-trick with Sanchez, who may prove difficult to
shift this summer due to his wage structure.
Chris Smalling (Roma)
England defender is one player permanently on United’s books who has
impressed in Italy’s top-flight and looks certain to be moved on for a
fee this summer.
Indeed, the former Fulham defender may well
add to his 31 international caps with England boss Gareth Southgate
admitting that he now ‘regrets’ his previous criticism of the player.
Smalling himself said he has a ‘decision to make’ in summer, but his
form at the heart of Roma’s defence has seen his asking price increase.
That in turn may mean that he is now out of Roma’s price range and could signal a return to the Premier League.
Marcos Rojo (Estudiantes)
Argentina international spent five-and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford
before becoming part of the mass clearout in the past 12 months. The
tenacious 30-year-old joined Argentine side Estudiantes on loan in
January but has made just one appearance to date – a defeat against
Defensa y Justicia.
Estudiantes are the club where Rojo
began his career and a return to Old Trafford looks unlikely,
particularly with the improvement in Luke Shaw’s form alongside the
emergence of Brandon Williams.
However, the player will
still believe he can make a mark in European football and, like
Smalling, should make the Red Devils some transfer income this summer.
Joel Castro Pereira (Hearts)
Portugal youth international was once one of United’s great talents
coming through the youth system with an expectation that he could be a
long-term replacement for David De Gea. However, such a scenario now
appears unlikely following a series of loan spells including a
disappointing campaign in Scotland.
Hearts are at the foot
of the top-flight and enduring a miserable campaign, while Pereira has
conceded 11 in his past three games and been dropped from the starting
line-up. This is his fifth temporary spell away from United but his next
exit is probable to be a permanent one.
Dean Henderson (Sheffield United)
23-year-old’s progress in recent years has been remarkable – starring
each of the top four tiers in English football from 2016 onwards.
Successful loan stints at Grimsby and then Rochdale led to his switch to
the Blades in the summer of 2018, where his excellent form helped
propel them to the top-flight and now on the brink of European
Such has been Henderson’s improvements that
many believe he is now England’s best goalkeeper while there is also an
argument he should usurp De Gea – whose form has been patchy for 18
months – in the United’s starting line-up.
His ability and
potential are undoubted but ousting the Spaniard could be a step too
far, but will he wait long to be given his opportunity – his future will
be interesting to follow this summer.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Oldham)
left-back was one of the group of youngsters to benefit from Louis van
Gaal’s stint in the Old Trafford dugout – making 14 first-team
appearances in the second half of the 2015/16 campaign. But he failed to
kick on and failed to make that number of outings combined across loan
spells with Wolves and then Leeds in the Championship.
looked more at home in League One last year at Scunthorpe, while his
time at Tranmere was cut short this year before moving to Oldham in the
tier below. Now aged 23, he will be out of contract this summer and will
surely move on in a free.
Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion)
23-year-old, O’Hara has won two senior caps for the Republic of Ireland
and is a regular for Burton Albion in League One. His progress was
halted by a six-match ban after allegedly biting the arm of Peterborough
forward Sammie Szmodics.
The Irishman is on his seventh
loan stint away from the Red Devils and like Borthwick-Jackson and
Pereira, it is likely that he will be moved on permanently in the near
Ethan Hamilton (Bolton Wanderers)
former Scottish youth international has impressed in League One for
Rochdale, Southend and now Bolton – who are facing relegation this
campaign but are thankful to still have a club due to their off-field
He penned a senior contract with United in the summer
of 2018 for the first time and featured in pre-season for Jose
Mourinho’s side but could not break beyond the reserves. Looks likely to
stay again this summer and be loaned on once more.
George Tanner (Salford City)
full-back has been a regular in United’s youth and reserve sides in
recent years before gaining first-team experience this season. He
featured 29 times for Morecambe up to and including January before
moving to their League Two rivals Salford, part-owned by former United
players of the ‘Class of 92’.
He has yet to feature for his
new club but, like Hamilton, is likely to have at least another year to
prove himself before a permanent departure.