Loan Watch: Michael Keane puts in a great performance; Nani scores a great solo goal

Michael Keane

Manchester United’s loan players represented their respective sides this week in their various leagues and European competitions. Nan was the only player to find the back of the net with a stunning solo goal, but defender Michael Keane was the one that made a name for himself, earning some praise from his manager despite only playing 14 minutes of football this week. United defender Reece James made an emergency loan move to Rotherham United this week, so eleven players will be in next weeks Loan Watch feature.

Here is how I feel the players fared this week:

Michael Keane – Burnley

Michael Keane was a named substitute in the 2-1 victory over Stoke City in the Barclays Premier League this weekend. The Manchester United defender replaced Michael Duff in the 76th minute of the match, with Burnley still defending a 2-1 lead with goals scored by Danny Ings in the twelfth and thirteenth minute of the match, with the home side getting a goal back just after the half hour through Jon Walters. Keane was praised by Burnley manager Sean Dyche for his performance, which could suggest he could start their next match against Aston Villa, where he could face United team-mate Tom Cleverley. Dacha said:

“Keano came on and what a fantastic performance that was from the young man. Trust me, I was a centre-half and that was an ugly game to come into. I thought he was terrific. That was a big growth for him as a young man. He made a couple of big headers.”

Next Match: Aston Villa – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 15:00

Nick Powell – Leicester City

Nick Powell did not feature in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League.

Next Match: Queens Park Rangers – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 15:00

Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace 

Wilfried Zaha did not feature in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League.

Next Match: Swansea City – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 15:00


Tom Cleverley – Aston Villa

Tom Cleverley started and played the entire match in the 1-1 draw with Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Monday evening. The Villans were unlucky to not earn all three points in the match after going ahead in the 29th minute of the match, only to see an equaliser nine minutes from time. Cleverley had one shot on target in the match, had an 88% pass success rate, creating two chances for his team-mates, with two crosses into the box. His time at United comes to an end in the summer, but the January transfer window could ensure his escape from Old Trafford happen much sooner, with United getting some form on transfer fee for him. We had high hopes for Cleverley, but with the quality in midfield right now, he won’t get a look in.

Next Match: Burnley – Barclays Premier League – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 15:00

Sam Johnstone – Doncaster Rovers 

Sam Johnstone played the full match in a vital 3-1 win over Rochdale in the Sky Bet League One. Johnstone played well and made some amazing saves and really did prove he could be the future keeper for Manchester United. He made one vital save at 1-1 which was key because his team went up the over end and made it 2-1 then 3-1 straight after.

Next Match: Crewe Alexandra – Sky Bet League One – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 15:00

Nani – Sporting CP

Nani played the full match in the 3-1 victory of NK Maribor in the UEFA Champions League, a match which saw the Portuguese side boost their chances of earning a place in the knockout stages of the European tournament, in which they will need to earn at least a point against Chelsea and hope that Schalke 04 do not beat Maribor by more than eight goals. Nan had seven shots on goal during the match and scored a great solo effort, putting his side 2-0 up. They conceded an own goal seven minutes later, but in the 65th minute an assist by Nani ensured the home side earned all three vital points. Nani has picked up his form and confidence during his loan spell, but will it be something that comes back with him, should he return to Old Trafford?

Next Match: Vitória Setúbal – Premeira Liga – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 20:15

Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid 

Javier Hernandez did not feature in the 4-0 win over Eibar in the La Liga, or the 1-0 victory over FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League. The Mexican striker could feature against Malaga in their next match.

Next Match: Malaga – La Liga – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 19:00

Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid II

Guillermo Varela played the full match in the 1-1 draw with Tudelano in the Spanish Segunda B league. The Uruguayan had a good match in the right-back position, earning himself a yellow card in the 71st minute for a challenge. Real Madrid II took the lead on the 21st minute of the match, with the equaliser coming just 15 minutes later. Varela could have had a run in the first team this season, if the manager wanted to of course. It was a shame he never settled in Manchester, but we wish him luck in Spain, where we expect him to secure a permanent deal either in January or in the summer. That is not certain of course, and he could be back at Old Trafford, but I doubt it.

Next Match: Real Unión – Spanish Segunda B – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 16:00

Angelo Henriquez – Dynamo Zagreb 

Angelo Henriquez played 68 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Giurgiu in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening. The defeat puts the Croatian side at the bottom of the table with three points, which means they will not progress out of their group this season. The Chilean striker had one shot on goal and an 89% pass success rate. He was shown a yellow card for a challenge on the hour. Henrique has been in good form during his loan spell and it looks unlikely that he will return to Old Trafford, as the Croatian club have an option to buy the striker as a clause in the loan deal, which suggests he will not be given a chance by United manager Louis van Gaal.

Next Match: Istra 1961 – 1. HNL – Sunday 30th November 2014; KO 14:00

Vanja Milinković-Savić – FK Vojvodina

Vanja Milinković-Savić made his thirteenth appearance for his club in their 0-0 draw against Rad Beograd in the Super Liga. The 17-year-old is doing well at his former club and will make a permanent move to Old Trafford in the summer, as he sets his sights on a  first team place under Louis van Gaal. With the future of Anders Lindegaard in the air and the fact that Ben Amos’ contract expires in the summer, the Serbian could be backup for David De Gea in the first team next season. That may not be right, especially with the fact that Spaniard Victor Valdes is training with the club in his bid to get over his recent knee injury. I am sure United signed the Serbian for a reason, and considering he is doing so well in Serbia, that could continue in Manchester next season. He will probably feature for Warren Joyce’s U21 side first of all, and take the rest of his career from there.

Next Match: Čukarički – Super Liga – Saturday 29th November 2014; KO 14:00

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