Manchester United are widely renowned for producing top quality homegrown talent. Their academy is considered to be one of the very best in the world and youth development has been part and parcel of the club's identity.
Manchester United have sent plenty of players out on loan this season
Manchester United have incredible squad depth and owing to that reason, they are unable to provide the required game time to all players. But clubs try not to stand in the way of their development and instead farm them out to other teams where they will be able to feature on a regular basis.
The players who have been loaned out this season, however, are not limited to youngsters who are looking to rise through the ranks. It also includes senior players who have fallen down the pecking order or have been deemed surplus to requirements by the manager.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the best on loan players from Manchester United.
#5 Tahith Chong (Birmingham City)
Tahith Chong won the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award in 2017-18 before breaking onto Manchester United's senior side under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Chong was sent out on loan in 2020-21 to Werder Bremen and to Club Brugge.
He impressed in parts but he has really come to his own at Birmingham City this season. The 22-year-old winger was out for four months with a groin injury and just made his return against Bristol City this past weekend. Chong celebrated the occasion by opening the scoring for his side as early as the second minute.
In 15 Championship appearances this season, Chong has scored a goal and provided two assists. He has been one of their most creative players this season. After his impressive return against Bristol, Birmingham City manager Lee Bowryer was all praise for the youngster. Speaking to the press, Bowyer said:
“For sure. For sure. He has been a big miss for us. At the start of the season when we had him we created and we looked so dangerous in near enough every game – even when we lost.
“He was a big player for us and to not have him for four-and-a-half months was a long time. He was our most creative player so to not have him for that long we have definitely missed him for sure.
“He is very good at twisting and turning, he is a tricky player. When he is fully fit then he is even more exciting to watch. He has been out a long time, I am pleased he is back out there playing and has scored his first goal.”
#4 Teden Mengi (Birmingham City)
Teden Mengi has the qualities to become a mainstay in Manchester United's backline in the future. The 19-year-old joined Championship side Birmingham City in January on loan for the remainder of the season. He has subsequently become a regular starter at the club.
The teenager is a fantastic tackler, a quality that makes him a great future prospect for the Red Devils. He is also a leader and despite being a youngster at a new club, Mengi doesn't shy away from commanding his backline.
He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury but the fact that he has become a crucial part of Birmingham's starting lineup is commendable. Mengi deserves to be given a chance at Manchester United, especially because of their defensive struggles this season.
#3 Ethan Laird (Bournemouth)
It's been a while since Manchester United have had a good attacking right-back. Ethan Laird, currently on loan at Bournemouth, is one of their own and fits the profile of the full-backs they're on the lookout for.
He had an impressive loan spell with Swansea City in the first half of the season before being recalled by Manchester United in January.
In 20 Championship appearances for the Swans, Laird picked up three assists. He is an enterprising full-back whose best work comes in the final third. The 20-year-old is a good ball progressor and his link-up play is quite slick as well.
While his final product could use some improvement, there's plenty of time for him to work on that aspect of his game.
#2 Brandon Williams (Norwich City)
Brandon Williams had become a bit of a mainstay in the Manchester United starting lineup in the 2019-20 season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A teenager at the time, Williams made as many as 42 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils that season.
He can play at right-back as well as at left-back. Given how awful the Manchester United full-backs have been this season, Williams could really stake a claim for a starting berth next term.
Williams is not the most technically gifted player and his attacking game has its shortcomings, but he is all about grit and determination.
The loan move to Norwich City has worked out well as Williams is starting at left-back almost every week. He has started 19 Premier League games so far this term. Despite struggling in the first couple of months, Williams has enjoyed an upturn in form of late and was chosen as Norwich's Player of the Month in January.
#1 James Garner (Nottingham Forest)
Among all of Manchester United's young players who are out on loan, James Garner looks the most likely to become a fixture in their first team in the future. Garner had a very good loan spell with Nottingham Forest in the second half of the 2020-21 season and had become a fan favorite at the club.
He has been shipped out to them for the entirety of the 2021-22 season. Garner has stepped it up this season and has been very influential for Forest in the centre of the park. He has been one of the chief architects behind their rise from the bottom of the table to attain the status of playoff contenders.
Garner has produced clutch performances in Forest's FA Cup campaign against the likes of Arsenal and Leicester City. Manchester United's midfield needs some serious upgradation and it remains to be seen whether Garner is part of their long-term plans presently.
But one thing's for certain and it is that he certainly needs to be. Garner has made 32 appearances across all competitions this term, scoring three goals and providing four assists.
He is starting to garner interest from multiple Premier League clubs and Manchester United ought to fend off all that interest because Garner is sheer quality.