Manchester United have let Tom Lawrence and the Keane brothers Will and Michael leave the club on loan during this emergency window.
For those three players, it represents a great opportunity to get some competitive first team experience under their belt as they look to progress and their departures will create opportunities for those who remain behind at Carrington. We take a look at some of those players.
James Wilson has been prolific at every level this year and has already been in action for Joyce’s Under-21s but in Keane’s absence, he will be given an opportunity to become United’s main man.
There are big hopes for Wilson. For a tall striker, he possesses a lightning quick turn of pace and has an excellent poise and touch despite his big frame. He is equally as confident playing on the wing as he is up top such is his ability.
Ashley Fletcher is currently the Under-18s top scorer according to MUTV and there is certainly space for a striker in the Under-21s. Keane joins the likes of Powell, Henriquez, Bebe, Macheda and Lingard who are already out on loan, so Warren Joyce isn’t spoilt for choice in that position.
His physical presence makes him a real handful for defenders and in a league that is becoming increasingly difficult as academies improve, having him would give Joyce a good alternative.
Although Ben Pearson is neither a striker or defender, there will be more spaces in the squad and Joyce simply needs to give him more game time. His performance against Bayer Leverkusen this week was superb yet he has only had one minute of game time with the Under-21s so far and at a time where talented midfielders are a rare commodity at United, we need to be giving the best in our academy the opportunities to shine.
Reece James may also get the opportunity to play in a more natural defensive role now that Keane has left on loan. Since his return to Carrington, James has had to settle for a midfield role and although full back is his preferred position, his versatility makes him a real asset to the squad.