Like many Premier League clubs, Manchester United have a number of fringe players who have been sent out on loan in order to gain some much-needed first-team experience. Whilst the likes of Tahith Chong and Aliou Traore have been shipped off to the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 respectively, there are a handful of future stars who remain much closer to home. We take a look at three loanees who have pitched up at various EFL clubs, albeit with mixed results.
James Garner – Watford
✍️ Welcome to Watford, James Garner! pic.twitter.com/I9fMhFslPI
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) September 18, 2020
Although the statistics may not be overwhelmingly eye-catching, there is little doubt that the 19-year old has enjoyed the chance to play in the second tier. The Hornets, who are fourth favourites in the Championship odds at Betfair are aiming to make an instant return to the Premier League, and Garner’s tenacity has contributed to their impressive start to the 2020-21 campaign.
Manager Vladimir Ivic, who was appointed in the summer, has experimented with his XI on several occasions, and despite his relative inexperience, Garner has managed to clock up over 900 minutes so far. He has also been able to learn valuable lessons from some of the more experienced squad members, such as fellow midfielder Tom Cleverley and fan favourite Troy Deeney, who has recently been described as a ‘second coach’ by his manager.
Only two players have attempted more dribbles than the youngster this season, and he has also proved useful in set-piece situations.
Matej Kovar – Swindon
League One newcomers Swindon Town have signed Manchester United goalkeeper Matej Kovar on a season-long loan deal.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 28, 2020
Despite being just 17 games into the season, it’s already been a topsy-turvy campaign for young goalkeeper Matej Kovar. He was a mainstay at the County Ground under former boss Richie Wellens. However, with the Robins having only been recently promoted to the third tier, he’s easily been one of the busiest keepers in the division so far. Despite this, the 20-year old stopper managed to keep his first clean sheet of the campaign against Bristol Rovers in late November, and he will surely take plenty of confidence from that display.
Prior to his move, he had made a decent impression at youth level, and although he hasn’t been helped by an unreliable back-line this season, he appears to be growing in confidence and surely has a bright future in the game.
Dylan Levitt – Charlton
Despite featuring for Wales during the November international break, the young midfielder has struggled to break into the Charlton XI so far this season. Although his quest for first-team football hasn’t been helped by a bout of illness, he will be incredibly disappointed to have accumulated just 206 minutes of League One action.
Although manager Lee Bowyer insists that the 20-year old hasn’t done anything wrong, he’s struggled to make an impression in training, and with the Addicks challenging for promotion once again this year, he is unlikely to dislodge the energetic and popular Albie Morgan from the starting XI anytime soon.
He has played both on the right-hand side and in the centre of the park during his fleeting appearances, and United fans will be hoping that he is given a chance to shine over the hectic festive period.
All three players are likely to benefit from the experience, and they should come back to Carrington with an added determination to work their way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans. Although their experiences so far have been diverse, James Garner, Matej Kovar and Dylan Levitt will have undoubtedly benefitted from the experience, and they are likely to return to their parent club as far more rounded individuals.