United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

McLeish plotting Old Trafford loan raid

Posted by nickogs20 on June 18, 2008

Alex McLeishBirmingham City boss Alex McLeish is facing up to a season in the Championship, and one of his first ports of call when looking for the players to get his side back into the top flight looks set to be his managerial mentor Sir Alex Ferguson. McLeish was a key player in Fergie’s successful Aberdeen side in the early 80’s and has hinted he’ll be looking to acquire some of his former boss’ most promising youngsters on a temporary basis to aid Birmingham’s promotion bid.

The former Rangers and Scotland manager told Sky Sports “I talk with Sir Alex now and again, including about the possibility of loan players when the time comes. The loan system is there and, with it being there, you’ve got to use it.”

Birmingham have taken a number of youngsters on loan from Arsenal in recent seasons, but it seems their attention may now be turning the Champions’ way. So which players are likely to crop up in conversation between the two Alex’s as potential loanees? I’m far from an expert on Birmingham’s player needs but defence and midfield look like the areas most in need of strengthening. Craig Cathcart’s disrupted campaign last year might make him a bit too much of a risk for a promotion-seeking Championship club but he’s a long shot, as fellow defenders James Chester and Richard Eckersley would be. Danny Simpson would probably be the most likely defensive candidate, but that would depend on our own transfer activity this summer.

It’s in the middle of the park where United probably have more players that would interest McLeish. Darron Gibson and Lee Martin are coming off Championship loan spells where they’ve shown promise but are still yet to fully prove themselves – this might be the opportunity. Chris Eagles comes into the equation for similar reasons. Don’t rule out someone like Sam Hewson or maybe even Rodrigo Possebon either – both are at that level where reserve football probably isn’t enough of a challenge any longer.

5 Responses to “McLeish plotting Old Trafford loan raid”

  1. Birminghamfollower said

    Yup, it’s obvious you don’t have a clue about Birmingham’s player needs. We’ve just sold Mumaba a English Under- 21 international to Bolton for £5.5 million + 750 k if they beat the drop. McLeish has gone on record stating that he will buy a permanent replacement who can pass the ball well and has made an enquiry about Portsmouth’s – Sean Davis. We do need strength in the midfield department but only in the shape of squad players. Would Chris Eagles be happy to sit on the bench of a promotion winning team and only play when someone gets injured or suspended? I’m sorry no disrespect but Arsenal can offer better YOUNG talent than United can.

  2. nickogs20 said

    I freely admitted I was no expert on Birmingham’s squad (although I’m fully aware of the Muamba sale cheers). With the greatest respect I suggest you’re probably no expert on our ‘young talent’ either. At the end of the day it’s your manager saying he’s looking at our squad for potential loan signings, not me arrogantly suggesting he should do so. He clearly feels there’s young talent worth having there so I guess we’ll see – no skin off our nose if you don’t take them because there are class young players who we will have plenty of offers for (which young Arsenal talent had the impact out on loan that Fraizer Campbell did last season? Or Jonny Evans the season before?).

    Strange thing is after telling me I don’t have a clue about your squad needs, you’ve then gone on to concur you do need strengthening in the midfield department. I never said any players we might loan you would be automatic first choice, but there are certainly some midfielders there good enough to compete for a place (which I’m sure the manager will be looking for, rather than merely ‘squad players’). Chris Eagles might well prefer to be competing for a place and playing semi-regularly to playing for our reserves.

  3. Joe Armstong said

    Not sure about Possebon leaving on loan……he has only had half a season in the reserves and it was only towards the end of the campaign that he started showing his true form after finally settling in.

    Loan spells for Eagles, Hewson, Cathcart are all good calls.

  4. nickogs20 said

    It’s probably a bit early for Rodrigo yeah. Maybe more likely in the January window (or Nov/Dec if we’re eliminated from the Carling Cup) if he carries his form over from the back end of last season in the reserves.

  5. Thank you

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