At a club like Manchester United, which has a rich history of promoting and nurturing its youth talent, there are still a decent number of youngsters vying for a senior team breakthrough, but haven’t been quite successful at it just yet.
This is a trend that recurs at most European powerhouses, with the mentality of spending big to make instant change taking the front stage over the more trusted but slower technique of allowing youth academy graduates to gently integrate themselves into the side.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the hope was strong that Manchester United will return to their roots, and now, the gaffer could be left with a roster that is populated even more by youth talent.
According to Sky Sports, the Old Trafford outfit has seen the return of Joel Pereira and Matty Willock after the culmination of their respective loan spells.
Pereira, 22, is a goalkeeper, and has made three appearances for the side’s senior squad. He returns from a loan spell with Portuguese side Vitória Setúbal, with whom he garnered 10 caps.
Willock is also of the same age, and functions as a midfielder. While Pereira’s return was due to his loan spell having ended, the Englishman’s spell with St Mirren was terminated prematurely.
It will be interesting to see what role they will now play at United. Pereira already has a daunting lineup of keepers above him in the pecking order, with De Gea and Romero unlikely to give up their spots easily, and Lee Grant’s seniority potentially giving him an edge as well.
As of such, it seems likely that he will be shipped off yet again, and reports have claimed Reading to be interested in his signature for another loan spell.
Willock may remain at Old Trafford and try to play in Solskjaer’s squad rotation, and earn a long-awaited senior team debut.