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Entering into the February break, Manchester United are in seventh place with top four seeming unlikelier by the week. Fortunately enough, the teams around us are as inconsistent. We need some serious business dealings this summer with players having to come in various positions. While we look at players at other clubs who could be used as reinforcement, there are a host of players who are out on loan who we can consider recalling this summer. Let’s take a look at some of them and see how they’re doing in their new side and should we recall them (except for Marcos Rojo of course!).
1.) Chris Smalling
Mike Smalling of MUFC has been sent on loan to AS Roma and our boy is absolutely loving life in the Seria A. Within a few months of joining, Smalling has three goal involvements in 18 league appearances which is very good for a centre-back. He is now the first Englishman since David Beckham to score at least two goals in a single Serie A season and what an odd statistic that is!
Should we recall Smalling? No. As tempting as it looks, we sent him out on loan for a reason. Even though Jones should’ve been shipped out before him, that isn’t reason enough to get him back. Also, he turns 31 this year and Roma want to sign him on a permanent basis. If you ask me, we should keep whatever money we get from him and move on.
Verdict: Sell him.
2.) Alexis Sanchez
After a disastrous swap deal with Arsenal, a deal that both teams probably regret, Mkhitaryan has been shipped out to Roma and Sanchez has been sent on loan to Inter. Unlike Smalling, Alexis hasn’t exactly enjoyed his time in Italy getting just one goal and two assists in 10 appearances before getting injured. He also got a second yellow in his game against Sampdoria to make matters worse.
Should we recall Sanchez? I am a little on edge with this because while I feel he can still perform for us, the risk to reward is just not worth it. Alexis is 31 years old and we need to get rid of the system of giving multiple chances to older players. With players above 29, it would either be a hit like Van Persie and Ibrahimovic or miss like Falcao and Schweinsteiger.
Verdict: Not worth keeping him.
3.) Marcos Rojo
Getting rid of Marcos Rojo has been incredibly difficult for Manchester United, especially because of his high wages and poor footballing skills. He has returned to his boyhood club of Estudiantes. This was an odd move, I feel because usually, an old player doesn’t go out on loan to his boyhood club. It’s often a permanent deal. There should be no circumstance under which we don’t wrap this up and send him back to Argentina for good.
Verdict: Should have left sooner.
4.) Dean Henderson
Last but not least because I intentionally saved the best for last. Dean Henderson has been absolutely amazing since signing for Sheffield United. They secured promotion in his first-ever season there and made the team of the year in the Championship, along with winning the EFL Golden Glove, Sheffield United Young Player of the Year and Sheffield United Community Player of the Year. This season, Sheffield United are 6th in the Premier League and Henderson has 9 clean sheets which is joint top in terms of most clean sheets.
Should we recall Henderson? That’s a tough one between recalling him and letting him develop there or any other club until he’s good enough to replace David De Gea. I’d take him back in a heartbeat if we sell Romero or De Gea. In that case, the remaining goalkeeper plays in the Premier League and Henderson plays in the Europa League, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup. If we make the Champions League, Henderson can be given the easier games in order to gain that much needed European experience. Anyhow, I’m very excited to see how this lad turns out and he has a very promising career up ahead.
Verdict: May need another year on loan if De Gea and Romero stay next season.