DAN! DAN! – Toon, Terriers take United duo on loan
Posted by nickogs20 on August 15, 2009
It’s been relatively quiet on the loan front so far this pre-season, but the temporary exit door at Old Trafford finally saw some activity yesterday, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town swooping for defender Danny Simpson and midfielder Danny Drinkwater respectively.
Simpson moves to St James’ Park with a point to prove and a United career to fight for. Now 22 and entering the final year of his contract at OT, the Salfordian defender knows that another season like last year’s wash-out on loan with Blackburn will surely spell the end of his time at his boyhood club. Even an impressive stint with the Magpies may not be enough to secure a future with the Reds, with Rafael da Silva looking like the heir to Gary Neville’s right-back position and other youngsters like Ritchie de Laet making a recent impression.
Newcastle have taken Danny on loan until January, hoping he can help shore up a defence that struggled badly in the Premier League last season and looked to still be shaky in last week’s Championship opener against West Brom. Simpson has prior experience of the Championship, having had previous loan spells with Sunderland and Ipswich in the second tier, but Newcastle United and the various crises engulfing that club at present will likely present an entirely different challenge. Simo has taken the number 12 shirt at St James’ and is in line to make his debut in this evening’s home match against Reading, which is live on Sky Sports at 5.20pm.
In contrast, Danny Drinkwater is embarking on his first spell away from the club he has been with since the age of 9. An impressive performer at reserve level last season, going out on loan was always a likely next step considering the depth of talent in midfield at United.
Having just been a part of the England U19 team that made the European Championship final and featured several players already with extensive first-team experience at their respective clubs, another season at reserve level was likely to be something of a come-down for the 19 year-old – the timing is right to seek senior football at a progressive club.
In that respect, Huddersfield appear to be an excellent fit for the 19 year-old. Terriers’ boss Lee Clark is clearly an admirer of the young Mancunian, telling his club’s official site:
“Danny is a midfield player that we have tracked for a long time. We have monitored him playing for Manchester United’s reserve side and England under-19s and we like him very much. He can play in all four positions across midfield and as an attacking player. He is a very good footballer who passes the ball very well and gets into goalscoring positions. I want competition for places all around the pitch, so I’m delighted to have Danny here.”
For his part, Danny is obviously delighted with the move and excited at the prospect of a first taste of senior football at the Galpharm Stadium:
“It has been in my head for the past few months now, if not towards the end of last season too, that I need to play first team football. I know that Huddersfield is a big club. I know a lot about the Stadium, about a few of the players and about the level of ambition and I am happy to be here.
The manager simply expects me to give my all, which I am more than happy to do. There is a fair bit of competition for the midfield positions here and I’m looking forward to that challenge. I want to play as much as possible here and help Huddersfield towards promotion.”
Drinkwater will wear the number 25 over the course of his season-long spell in Yorkshire, and goes straight into the squad for today’s home game against Southampton. We’ll have updates of the progress of both Danny’s throughout the season.
Intriguingly, despite being set to ply their trade in different divisions this season, the two United youngsters could find themselves in direct opposition in the very near future – August 26th sees Newcastle take on Huddersfield in the Carling Cup.