United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Simpson back in the fold after season to forget

Posted by nickogs20 on May 11, 2009

United right-back Danny Simpson is back with the club after the Reds and Blackburn Rovers agreed to terminate the 22 year-old’s season-long loan deal at Ewood Park a few weeks early.

Simpson was one of former United midfielder Paul Ince’s first signings at Blackburn last summer, and coming off the back of a 2007/08 campaign that saw him make 8 first team appearances with his boyhood club and then perform commendably on loan at Ipswich Town, hopes were high that the defender would push on and use a year of regular Premier League football to establish himself as a serious contender for the right-back position at Old Trafford.

Unfortunately, things haven’t quite panned out that way. Simpson was handed an early debut and made regular appearances at the start of Ince’s reign, but as Rovers struggled for results and their new manager started to feel the pressure, more experienced alternatives – Andre Ooijer for example – started to get the nod. When Ince was unceremoniously dumped after just 177 days in charge and Sam Allardyce handed the reins at Ewood Park, Simpson’s task became all the more difficult.

Establishing himself in a team that was facing a relegation battle and now in the hands of a different manager to the one who had identified him and brought him in was always going to be a long shot, and Simpson failed to impress in his limited first-team opportunities under Allardyce (having appeared in 11 of a possible 14 games under Ince, Simpson played in just one league game under the new manager). In recent months the Salford youngster has struggled to make the Blackburn bench, often finding himself playing reserve football, and as such it comes as no surprise that all parties have considered it wise to bring the loan agreement to a premature end. In total Simpson made 20 appearances for Rovers, 18 of those from the start, with 8 of those starts coming in cup competitions.

Simpson now has the chance to jog Sir Alex Ferguson’s memory regarding his abilities as a player as he trains with the squad for the remainder of the campaign, but he returns to Manchester with his chances of a long-term career at OT seriously damaged – and not just by the disappointing spell with Blackburn. The emergence of Rafael da Silva this season and the semi-regular involvement of Richard Eckersley with the first-team squad arguably shunts Simpson two spots further down the pecking order at right-back. Simpson still has a year remaining on the contract he signed two years ago, but it may be that club or player (or both) decide a transfer is in their best interests this summer.

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5 Responses to “Simpson back in the fold after season to forget”

  1. cem said

    thats such a shame, hes quality

  2. Tone said

    Just hope he can pick himself up, this is a player I really want to see in our team!

  3. Norries said

    I consida simmo a betta option thn rafael at this moment in time – rafael lacks the defenive awarness 2 be a regular starter – wit vidic, rio and evra simmo can do it – hard tackler, can go forward/ fabio is even betta thn rafael in my view – the fact tht he is right footd playin on the left

  4. Tone said

    Sadly, I don’t expect many to share that view with you, although I am one of those who do. Rafael might be better than Danny going forward, but Danny has a decent cross and is much more stable at the back. Having been brought up in English football, he realises that, as a defender, that is your main priority!

  5. nickogs20 said

    I’ve always rated Simpson but I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s a better option now or a much better defender than Rafael. Rafa’s obviously got some kinks defensively that need to be ironed out but he’s 18, and even with those defensive issues has played 25+ games for the champions and been nominated for young player of the year. Don’t really see how a 22 year-old who was solid and nothing more in his first-team games last season and who hasn’t made an impact on loan at a lesser Premier League side this year could seriously be considered a better option or an option to be ahead of Rafael in the pecking order – think you’ve got to trust the management on this one.

    Rafa’s getting better all the time defensively and will only continue to do so. Defending is the main priority for a defender of course but a United full-back has to have much more to his game ideally, and Rafael looks better placed to me to have that all-round game than Simpson does.

    With Rafael, Wes, JOS and Gary Neville ahead of him, arguably Eckersley too, it’s hard to see a future for Simmo here. Best case scenario is maybe another loan spell next season during which he will have to absolutely star, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he moved on. Getting out of that loan spell/reserve games/fringe player comfort zone has done wonders for Chris Eagles this year.

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