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Manchester United Players

Loan Watch: Performances and Future Prospects

With the League title sealed, and tabloids already working overtime, drumming up names and linking the club with a whole lot of players, it’s time we take a look inward and see the good we already have at the moment. I am of course talking about the players loaned out this season. How did they do? And what are their chances in the first team setup next season? Read on for a run down on some of the more promising players out on loan…

Phil Bardsley:

Was loaned out to Rangers at the start of the season. However things didn’t work out too well between him and Paul le Guen and so he was loaned out to Aston Villa. Under the guidance of Martin O’Neill, things have turned out for the better, as he’s got to play fairly regularly. He’s played 13 games and also has an assist to his name. Apparently O’Neill is quite impressed with him and wants to make his move to Villa permanent.
Our Say: Given United’s need for the long term replacement of Neville at right back, the club might not want to let him go for sure, although another season out on loan beckons, given Wes Brown’s versatility to fill that position.

Ben Foster:

Having helped Watford in their promotion bid last season, he was once again excellent for the Hornets and stood out, being the one player blameless in their relegation back to the Championship. Playing behind a defence that is as shite as Fat Frank in a chess game, his composure, agility, awareness and distribution have drawn admirers from all corners, given his young age.
Our Say: He is one loanee that can easily walk into the first team at the moment. If EVDS steps down that is. One hopes, he’s really given a good run next season. Due respect to EVDS, but he isn’t getting any younger, and it would be great to have a young keeper like Foster to rival that of Chelsea’s Cech. Could solve our long term ‘keeper conundrum since Schmeichel, once and for all.

Gerard Pique:

A product of the Barcelona youth factory, Pique’s season with Zaragoza has shaped up quite well, playing 19 games for them. And this is a team that’s currently 5th in the La Liga table. No mean feat for a 20 year old.
Our Say: With Rio and Vidic forging a formidable defensive partnership at the centre, and Wes Brown being a good back up, it would be a tough call for Pique and the manager. He might have to choose between staying on at Zaragoza for another season, or staying content warming the bench at United, for quite some time. As much as we would like to see him play for United next season, one might wonder if his cause would be best served here at least for the next season. Quite possibly, another season on loan.

Jonny Evans and Danny Simpson:

Both players out on loan had a successful time helping Sunderland clinch the Championship title on their way back to the Premiership. Both were members of an outstanding team that went on a brilliant run in 2007, and having a good defence was a key factor in maintaining that run. They formed two members of the back four. Clearly, signs of promise.
Our Say: Roy Keane might be tempted to keep them for another season, and it sure looks like Sir Alex might oblige.

Giuseppe Rossi:

Well what do we say about him? The worst move of his career might have been Newcastle. A glance at statistics on his performances for Parma (15 starts and 7 goals) might better explain Roeder’s underutilization. And it’s not as if Newcastle were playing too well without him anyway.
Our Say: He should be brought back to the first team and given chances next season, or he might get tired of waiting in the wings for so long. In fact even in this season (with injuries to Saha) he might have got a fairly decent run. Definitely more than what Roeder gave him.

Lee Martin:

This winger had a good start with Royal Antwerp in the early part of 2006 and proved quite popular with fans there. Things didn’t go smoothly with Rangers and he is currently on loan at Stoke City, where he hasn’t been spectacular.
Our Say: Maybe another season out on loan wont hurt. Maybe needs to show more to assert his place among the vast array of attackers currently present, with a new winger (Nani or Ribery or whoever) likely to be added to the team in the summer. But looks like he might be sold if there is not considerable improvement. (Hey, David Jones was sold, of all the people)



  1. Ahmed Bilal

    9 May 2007 at 03:58

    Phil – will probably be sold, although he’s the only outfield loanee with Prem experience. Remember that if Wes Brown plays right-back continuously and has Danny Simpson to cover for him, that might not be that bad an option. Although Danny might be kept at Sunderland for another season, you’re right.

    Will probably be sold, especially since one of the young defenders is going to move back to Old Trafford.

    Foster: will get his run, hopefully.

    Pique – up for a start. He probably better than Evans (who is quite good, btw).

    Rossi – will play plenty of games next season.

    Evans and Simpson – like you said, another loan spell at Sunderland is an option.

    Martin – don’t see a future for him at United, to be honest. He’s a decent winger, but nothing to write home about.

    You’ve got to consider the possibility that Ferguson will want to play on all four fronts next season and will want extra bodies around – which means that he’ll almost definitely keep a couple of the loaned out players back at old trafford (Pique and Rossi for sure, maybe Bardsley or Simpson).

  2. Unitedinwords

    9 May 2007 at 16:58

    Good article!

    Bardsley: I think this is the player to keep to cover at right back. He has got the Prem experience now. He’s not world class but he is committed and tidy.

    Foster: I think he may oust VDS next season – although not from the start.

    Pique: FA Cup and a few league matches hopefully. He’s very goodl.

    Evans and Simpson: The tailored made solution would be to leave them where they are and give them a season in the Premiership.

    Martin: I think he’s gone. We have too many wingers of his type and he’s not ahead of Eagles, Richarson, let alone Park, Giggs or Ronaldo.

    I want to see whether we get to see Darron Gibson playing FA Cup games next season. I hope so. I think we will see more of Cathcart if Evans stays on loan at Sunderland. I think F Campbell will be sold.

  3. The Artful Lounger

    10 May 2007 at 22:35

    My take.

    Bardsley – Will probably be sold. Solid player but not particularly outstanding.

    Foster – VDS is on his last legs, it’s time to blood him in. Will probably be #1 by the end of next season.

    Pique – Already almost confirmed to be back anyway. Too classy to sell.

    Evans – As good as (or better) than Pique. Disadvantaged because he’s been playing against lower league opposition as compared to Pique, so my vote goes to Pique getting first dibs at a chance to break into the senior team. The fact that Keano was willing to trust his backline to a teenager says something of his talent. But will probably go back to Sunderland.

    Simpson – Half of Keano’s back four. Sunderland’s game suffered when he was out due to injury. Ideally should go back on loan for experience but Neville’s breaking down more often now. Might actually stay and be back-up for Neville, especially if we start having defenders dropping like flies again next season. Sunderland fans are pretty fond of him and want him permanently – I do hope this won’t come true.

    Martin – I think he’s going to be sold. Languishing in Stoke as it is.

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  5. joninjapan

    17 May 2007 at 10:28

    im big on rossi… evans and simpson should stay at sunderlant.. if only to cause them selection problems when they play united 😛

    ive never seen the rest play.. so can’t really say…oh except for bardsley and he didnt appear paticularly amazing

  6. Manchester United

    21 May 2007 at 23:35

    I think its a great time with all this speculations

  7. Mr.Muhozi

    29 May 2007 at 20:18

    rossi, give him a chance and watch him shine, good footballing brain, plays as a second striker, then pushes up to become and out and out striker, has helped parma go from relegation to 12th in serie a

    pique, same as rossi, i saw this guy playing for zaragoza a few times, he puts in sold preformances, and i’ve also noticed when he is injured zaragoza are shaky in the back, should give vidic and rio a run for their money

    the others, well evans is good, but not as good a pique, simpson i hav e not watches him play lee matin should get another loan

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