Reds call time on Brandy’s Swansea spell
Posted by nickogs20 on January 13, 2009
United have today recalled striker Febian Brandy from his loan spell at Swansea City.
Brandy’s six-month stint with the South Wales club was due to expire on Saturday, and with the 19 year-old having struggled to force his way into the team at the Liberty Stadium, Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff have elected to bring the diminutive forward back to Old Trafford ahead of that, presumably with a view to maximising the time available to them to re-assess the player themselves and to possibly secure another loan deal for Febian for the second half of the season.
The Mancunian teenager’s second spell with Swansea has been a frustrating one, first-team appearances proving hard to come by as the pace merchant found himself behind Jason Scotland, Gorka Pintado and Guillem Bauza in the pecking order, often with only one striking place up for grabs in Roberto Martinez’s starting line-up.
Indeed, Brandy wasn’t picked from the start in any of Swansea’s Championship games this season, Martinez instead electing to use his pace from the bench on fourteen occasions. Febian did start in two of his four Carling Cup appearances, but his failure to find the target at all this season will be a great disappointment, and there will be a feeling that the past six months have been something of a missed opportunity at a vital stage in the youngster’s development.
It is believed that Martinez was keen to retain Brandy’s services for the second half of the season, perhaps not surprising after the youngster’s small but significant contribution in the run-in last season as Swansea won promotion to the Championship. The fact Febian was far from a first-team fixture in that period though perhaps didn’t bode well with regards to his chances of getting regular starts this season in a higher division, and with that coming to pass, United have unsurprisingly chosen to bring Febian back to Manchester.
Another loan spell, perhaps back in League One, looks the most likely option, with regular games being an absolute must now for a player who has seen his former schoolmate Danny Welbeck, two years his junior, come through and establish himself in the first-team squad in his absence.
Disappointing loan spells have unfortunately been something of a theme for the Reds this season. Fraizer Campbell and Danny Simpson have found first-team opportunites limited at their Premier League clubs, while Lee Martin’s spell at Nottingham Forest was another that looked to promise lots but ended with the winger returning to Old Trafford with his metaphorical tail between his legs after spending his last weeks at the City Ground unable to even make the matchday squad. Tom Heaton’s bright start at Cardiff City hit a snag when illness forced him to surrender his place to Peter Enckelman, and he has since been unable to reclaim it. Craig Cathcart is perhaps the only ‘success story’ thus far, the Northern Irish centre-half having acquitted himself well enough at Plymouth (after a shaky start) to prompt manager Paul Sturrock to extend his loan deal until the end of the season.
With David Gray and Sam Hewson heading out on loan this month already and the promise of more to follow, let’s hope the second half of the campaign is a more fruitful one for those young Reds out on loan.