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A wasted move for United’s Angelo Henriquez

by Sam Peoples

Wigan are 3-2 down against Swansea with just two games left to play. They have 15 minutes to save a season in which three points could get the Latics out of the relegation zone. Even a draw would be something going into the final day knowing that Aston Villa.

Roberto Martinez is left with a dilemma to either bring on Angelo Henriquez, striker, or Ronnie Stam, defender. He chooses the latter and within 30 seconds, Stam has limped off without as much of a step on the pitch.

Angelo Henriquez has managed a mere 19 minutes since his arrival at the DW Stadium in January. From a possible 21 games, the Chilean forward has just managed one start, and has been an unused substitute in 15.

For a youngster that Sir Alex had thought would have got the experience that he needed to develop, especially from a Spaniard that once used Tom Cleverley efficiently in his loan spell at Wigan, it has been a big disappointment.

Speaking in January, shortly after announcing his loan move to Wigan as complete, Henriquez spoke excitedly about the move to play under Martinez.

“I’m hoping to get first-team appearances in the Premier League and coming to Wigan will be a very good way to do that, particularly with the style that the gaffer has got the team playing in,” he said.

“Coming to the club is a very big opportunity for me and I am very grateful to Roberto Martinez because he has had the faith in what he has seen from me to bring me here.”

Given how his loan spell has gone, Henriquez will be anything but ‘grateful’ to Martinez who has done nothing but slow down his progress in his debut season in the top flight of English football.

Angelo Henriquez was bought by Manchester United in September after several years of Sir Alex and his scouting team monitoring the young Chilean’s process.

A phenomenal first season with the Universidad de Chile senior squad forced Ferguson to get his signature before anyone else and he and decided that this season was the one to finally bring him to Old Trafford.

Behind in the pecking order to Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, it was a wise decision for Sir Alex to send the young Henriquez out on loan for the time-being.

But from what it seems, it looks to have been a wasted time in Wigan.

United’s U21s have struggled with no striker ever since January as Macheda, Bebe, Henriquez and King all left on temporary or permanent deals and Henriquez could be playing week-in week-out for the U21s – something that would certainly help him more than warming the bench at Wigan.

It is such a shame given that he impressed straight away with Wigan by scoring against Sunderland in his first few weeks at the club.

Henriquez is now going to have to come back to the club and start off where he left in January or go out on a season long loan to another club given that there will be extremely limited game time with the team.

With United’s partnership with Ajax all but confirmed, a move there would certainly help his progress.

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