Manchester United loan player ratings: James Garner shines and Amad and Anthony Martial struggle – George Smith


Like most Premier League giants, Manchester United have sent a wealth of players out on loan this season in pursuit of regular first-team football.

A club of United’s stature is blessed to have an embarrassment of riches right the way through from the first-team to the academy and it is impossible to keep everyone happy. From big-name stars such as Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek, to youngsters Nathan Bishop and Dylan Levitt, United have tried to do what is best for their fringe players and academy graduates this season.

That is why the club has 17 players out on loan right now, either domestically or overseas. Here, MEN Sports you have given each United loanee a score out of 10 for how their loan spell this season has gone:

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premier league

Brandon Williams – Norwich City

The left-back joined the Canaries last August in pursuit of regular first-team football at Premier League level and initially found himself in and out of the team under former manager Daniel Farke, starting just five of the nine league games that proceeded the German’s sacking . His fortunes of him, however, changed following Dean Smith’s appointment.

He has started all but three games since Smith took charge in league and cup and won the club’s Player of the Month award for January. While he has had a few iffy moments, like any youngster does, he has been relatively solid and a loan spell away from Old Trafford has served him well.

Verdict: 6/10

Donny van de Beek – Everton

Joining Everton on loan in the January transfer window for the remainder of the season, Van de Beek walked into what has quickly become a sinking ship. The Toffees are in danger of being relegated from the Premier League and the Dutchman has not been able to perform to the standards he would have wanted to because of the position the team is in.

He has made six appearances for the club so far, starting five times. He excelled on his full debut in the 3-0 win over Leeds United, but has not hit the high notes since.

Verdict: 5/10

Championship

Ethan Laird – Bournemouth

If Laird had a clear say in United’s decision to terminate his loan spell at Swansea City in January and to send him to Bournemouth instead, he may well be regretting it. Since joining the Cherries, he has made just two appearances, with fitness issues hampering his progress under Scott Parker.

He has made just two substitute appearances for the club so far, amounting to just 40 minutes worth of football. He would have been better off staying in South Wales.

Verdict: 1/10

Teden Mengi – Birmingham City

The centre-back joined Birmingham on loan in January for the remainder of the season and made an immediate impact on his Championship debut, producing an excellent performance in a 1-1 draw with Preston North End. That was the beginning of eight consecutive starts in the league for the 19-year-old and Birmingham fans quickly became fond of him.

However, injury issues have derailed his progress in recent weeks, so much so that he has played just 33 minutes worth of first-team football in the last seven games. None, he was impressive when fit.

Verdict: 6/10

Tahith Chong – Birmingham City

Signed by Birmingham last July on a season-long loan, Chong threatened to take the Championship by storm at the start of the season. Many Blues supporters dubbed him as the best player they had seen in a Birmingham shirt after a 5-0 win over Luton Town, in which he produced an outstanding display, showcasing his power, speed and dribbling ability.

A serious thigh injury ruled him out for almost four months and he was massively missed. Although he has only scored one goal and claimed three assists in 18 games, he has excelled in the Championship and made a real name for himself.

Verdict: 8/10

Di’Shon Bernard – Hull City

Another player who has been idolized by his loan club’s supporters. Playing at Championship level this term, Bernard has been excellent for Hull, racking up 25 appearances.

Although he has been an unused substitute in each of the Tigers’ last five matches, he has played a key role in their quest to consolidate their position in their first season back in the Championship. The club, as well as the supporters, want to keep hold of him and it’s easy to understand why.

Verdict: 7/10

James Garner – Nottingham Forest

The pick of the bunch. Garner returned to Forest last summer following a loan spell at the club last season and he has been nothing short of sublime.



James Garner has excelled for Nottingham Forest this season.

In a campaign that has seen Forest move from the bottom of the Championship to the cusp of the play-off places with ten games to go, as well as a run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, Garner has been central to it. Neat, tidy and an architect in midfield, the England Under-21 international is now in with a genuine chance of becoming a first-team member at Old Trafford next season.

Verdict: 9/10

League One

Matej Kovar – Burton Albion

Like Laird’s move to Bournemouth, Kovar’s temporary switch to Burton has not lived up to expectation. Joining them in January, he is yet to make his debut for the club, playing the role as back-up keeper to Ben Garratt.

He has, however, been included in the latest Czech Republic Under-21 squad. Still, his loan move to the Brewers has failed to so far get going, making it impossible to award him a rating.

Verdict: N/A

Ethan Galbraith – Doncaster Rovers

The central-midfielder joined Doncaster on loan for the duration of the season back in August and has been a near-ever present figure in the club’s quest to avoid relegation to League Two. Racking up 32 appearances in league and cup, the 20-year-old — who has scored one goal, a stunner in a 1-1 draw with Cambridge United — has benefited from a season playing regularly.

Although he has not set the world alight, it has been a steady season for the youngster. His loan spell of him has served him well.

Verdict: 6/10

League Two

Nathan Bishop – Mansfield Town

Recently hailed by Mansfield boss Nigel Clough and teammate Elliott Hewitt, Bishop has been another big success within United’s loan army. He has started all 35 of the Stags’ League Two matches this season and has kept 11 clean sheets in 39 games in all competitions.

He also played an instrumental role in the 14-game unbeaten league run that Mansfield recently enjoyed. The deal has benefited from Bishop and the League Two side.

Verdict: 8/10

Reece Devine – Walsall

After making just ten appearances for Scottish outfit St Johnstone earlier this season, Devine’s loan spell north of the border was cut short in January and he was sent to Walsall. The left-back made his debut just 24 hours after joining the club and that signaled the start of four consecutive league starts, three of which ended in 1-0 defeats.

However, the versatile 20-year-old has played no part in Walsall’s past eight matches through injury. It has not worked out the way he would have hoped for so far, but he showed flashes of brilliance when fit.

Verdict: 5/10

scottish premiership

Love – Rangers

Seen as a major coup for Rangers at the time of his arrival on loan in January, Amad has failed to adjust to life in Scotland so far. After making the dream start to life north of the border, scoring within five minutes of his debut, he has only made six appearances in total.



Amad joined Rangers on loan from Manchester United in the January transfer window.
Amad joined Rangers on loan from Manchester United in the January transfer window.

He has started just two league games for the Gers and played no part in their historic Europa League triumph over Borussia Dortmund. Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has admitted the Ivorian still needs time to adjust, but it appears as though he does not trust him.

Verdict: 3/10

Dylan Levitt – Dundee United

A witness on the Wales bench to watch Gareth Bale score two stunning goals in their 2-1 win over Austria on Thursday night, Levitt joined Dundee United last summer and has proven to be an immensely popular figure at the Scottish club. He has made 22 appearances, scoring three goals and grabbing two assists.

whilst his attacking output is nothing too spectacular, it is worth remembering that he is a player not renowned for helping out at the top end of the pitch. He is a defensive-midfielder and he has done a cool and composed job throughout the season, ensuring his time away from Old Trafford has been worth every minute.

Verdict: 7/10

Overseas

Facundo Pellistri – Alaves

Opportunities have been hard to come by for Uruguay international Pellistri this season — so much so that he has racked up just 684 minutes worth of football in 20 appearances for Alaves. He has struggled for chances and has made just two substitute appearances this calendar year, amounting to a total of 20 minutes.

Although it has not scuppered his international prospects for Uruguay, it has not helped his development. He has not scored or grabbed a single assist.

Verdict: 3/10

Anthony Martial – Seville

The headline departure in January, Martial joined Spanish heavyweights Sevilla in a bid to get his career back on track. However, through a mixture of injury troubles and a hangover of lack of chances at Old Trafford, the Frenchman has struggled to get going.

Scoring just one goal in his first eight games, he has not had the impact he would have hoped for. He has also been jeered by some Sevilla supporters and questioned by manager Julen Lopetegui.

Verdict: 4/10

Axel Tuanzebe – Napoli

Swapping Aston Villa for Italian giants Napoli in January, centre-back Tuanzebe has made just two appearances for the club. His debut saw him step off the bench for just ten minutes, featuring in a 1-0 win over Sampdoria.

His first start saw him be a part of a defense that shipped five goals to Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia in a heavy 5-2 defeat. That was in January and he has not played since because of injury.

Verdict: 1/10

Andreas Pereira – Flamengo

Desperate to earn a place back in the Brazil squad, Pereira joined Flamengo on a season-long loan deal last summer. He has made a success of his time back in his homeland, scoring five goals and claiming one assist in 31 appearances.

Flamengo are in talks to sign him on a permanent deal and it is a move you would expect to happen, given how popular he has been and the changes that are expected at Old Trafford this summer. He has maximized his loan spell to restart his career.

Verdict: 7/10

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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