Four left in United limbo

September 3, 2011 Tags: , , , Opinion 10 comments

A quartet of fringe players, each included in Manchester United’s Premier and Champions League squads this week, may seek to move out of the club on loan once the window opens next week. Although the English summer transfer season closed at 11pm last Thursday night, with no dramatic last-minute deals brokered by Sir Alex Ferguson, players can move to the Championship and certain overseas markets from 8 September. Darron Gibson, Tomasz Kuszczak, Mame Biram Diouf and Federico Macheda may seek temporary opportunities elsewhere, having seen no action to date this season.

Indeed, of the quartet only Macheda is unavailable for permanent transfer, with some surprise that Gibson, Kuszazck and Diouf were unable to find new permanent homes this past summer. Gibson and Kuszazck spent pre-season with United’s reserves, while Diouf was afforded minimal opportunities with Ferguson’s first string on tour in the US. None of the quartet has featured in Ferguson’s squads for Premier League matches to date.

While an ankle injury suffered by Darron Gibson may have ended Aston Villa’s reported interest in the midfielder, the Irishman is unlikely to find a route to Ferguson’s first-team squad, let alone team in the coming weeks. Although the Scot failed to add a marquee signing to his central midfield resources over the summer, Tom Cleverley’s outstanding form so early this season has removed any requirement for Gibson to remain at Old Trafford. Quite why a £6 million move to Sunderland broke down in July remains a mystery, with Sunderland briefing journalists that the Irishman’s wage demands were too high but Ferguson claiming the Wearside club had changed its offer.

Meanwhile, Kuszazck’s inability to find a new club leaves the Pole third choice behind David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard. A mooted transfer to West Bromwich Albion ended when former United stopper Ben Foster joined the Midlanders. CSKA Moscow then failed to follow up a reported interest in the former Hertha Berlin ‘keeper with a concrete offer. The 29-year-old ‘keeper has made just 61 appearances in all competitions during five seasons at Old Trafford; it is almost inconceivable that Kuszazck will add a 62nd appearance to that total.

Then there is Diouf, whose loan spell at Blackburn Rovers last season yielded just three Premier League goals in 26 appearances for Steve Kean’s outfit. No wonder, perhaps, that there have been no takers this summer. Two goals against New York Cosmos during Paul Scholes testimonial appeared to offer the Senegalese striker a glimmer of hope but with seven strikers in Ferguson’s squad the £3.5 million January 2009 acquisition can only hope for sporadic opportunities in the Carling and FA Cups this season.

Macheda faces a different challenge of course, with Ferguson seeking to retain the striker in the long-term. But it is now three seasons since the Italian burst onto the scene with match changing goals against Villa and Sunderland and the youngster must surely now play to progress. Yet there appears to be little chance of the Rome-born player breaking into Ferguson’s first team plans as Danny Welbeck has done to such great effect this season. Indeed, it is a major surprise that United was seemingly unable to find the striker a loan move this summer, with Newcastle United reportedly interested. And while it is likely Ferguson prefers the player to move within England, the Premier League is no longer an option until 1 January 2012.

Each of the quartet was selected in United’s UEFA Champions League squad this week, which includes 24 of a possible 25 players on the ‘A’ list. Ferguson added a further 10 to the ‘B’ group, including first team regulars Fábio and Rafael da Silva, and Welbeck. However, with the Scot able to add unlimited ‘homegrown’ under-21 players to his match-day party talented yougsters including Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba could be included at a later date. Homegrown players are those who, regardless of nationality, have been trained by United or another club England for at least three years between the age of 15 and 21.

But inclusion is unlikely to proffer any of the quartet significant match time, relegating Macheda to minor cup competitions and the remainder of the trio to, perhaps, even less than that unless a move away is found. In that there is a significant challenge. After all none of the quartet, bar perhaps Diouf, is a Championship-level player and of the major European leagues only Turkey’s window remains open – until 5 September.

UEFA Champions League Squad

Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Tomasz Kuszczak, Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos*, Sam Johnstone*

Defenders: Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidić, Fabio*, Rafael*, Sean McGinty*

Midfielders: Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-Sung, Michael Carrick, Nani, Ashley Young, Thomas Cleverley, Darren Fletcher
Antonio Valencia, Darron Gibson, Matty James*, Davide Petrucci*

Forwards: Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernández, Danny Welbeck*, Federico Macheda*, Mame Biram Diouf, Will Keane*

* B List


RobDiablo - September 3, 2011 Reply

We should give all four of them to Everton in exchange for the right to buy Barkley when he’s ready to move to the next level. Of course, saddling Everton with those four will likely raise the price considerably.

squigs - September 3, 2011 Reply

Barkley based on how many top flight games and after a number of serious injuries? Calm down.

RobDiablo - September 3, 2011 Reply

squigs said:
Barkley based on how many top flight games and after a number of serious injuries? Calm down.

Okay. Phil Neville, then.

Paul - September 4, 2011 Reply

for me it’s a real shame that Macheda couldn’t land a loan deal in the premiership. i think he lacks the pace to make it at united but i wanted to see could he establish himself in the premiership just like Welbeck and Cleverley did last year and prove me wrong. we might let Owen and Berbatov both go next summer so there are big oppertunities there for the likes of Macheda and Keane if they can step it up this year.

Wazzatov - September 4, 2011 Reply

Make it 5 and add Berbatov to the list.

Onside - September 4, 2011 Reply

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uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 4, 2011 Reply


AsherMUFC - September 5, 2011 Reply

Commenter said:
Make it 5 and add Berbatov to the list.

Berbatov hating….. *yawn*!!
20 goals last year and u lot still aren’t happy….

Godfrey - September 5, 2011 Reply

AsherMUFC says:
September 5, 2011 at 12:25 am

Commenter said:
Make it 5 and add Berbatov to the list.

Berbatov hating….. *yawn*!!
20 goals last year and u lot still aren’t happy….

Amen to that..
Though i have to admit Im very pleased with the great start that we’ve had to the season, just dont want to get too carried away..scholsey started the last season in blisttering form then tailed off…
Age in his case would be a point but then all the newbies are pretty raw.
People jumping for us to push berba off keep fergetin how long and grueling the season gets fer us beng involved in all competitions upto the latter stages..Really hoped we could have gotten gibson off books along with johnny evans..
(he showed much promise in his debut campaign but just has one error too many on him)..

Bill - September 5, 2011 Reply

That overhead kick last season was one of the best goals i’ve seen from anyone in a United shirt. Still has a major role to play.

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