Manchester United are looking to end Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers, according to the Telegraph. The 19-year-old joined the Championship club on loan in the summer until the end of the season to continue his development, having broken into the first team last season, but a lack of game time at his temporary club has led to United considering taking him back.
Since joining Wolves in the summer, Borthwick-Jackson has made just six league appearances, his last coming two months ago in Wolves’ 3-2 defeat at home to Derby County. Borthwick-Jackson has not made a single appearance for new manager Paul Lambert, who took charge just after that Derby game, and has been included in a matchday squad just once since the manager’s appointment.
Wolves will need willingly send Borthwick-Jackson back to United, however. Wolves paid United a substantial fee to take Borthwick-Jackson for the entire season, so sending him back now would effectively mean losing half of what was invested. Although, considering their manager hasn’t been using him, that may not end up being a problem.
The treatment of Borthwick-Jackson was such that United manager Jose Mourinho reportedly blocked another one of his players from leaving to the Midlands club. Last month Wolves tried to sign United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on emergency loan following injuries to goalkeepers Andy Lonergan and Carl Ikeme, only for the move to be shut down.
Borthwick-Jackson made 14 senior team appearances in his breakout season, with ten coming in the Premier League. The opportunity became available to him following Luke Shaw’s season-ending injury, and now with Shaw once again suffering from injuries, restricting him from getting a good run of games, there’s every chance that Borthwick-Jackson could be brought back to fill that hole, although there is currently no indication whether he would stay at United or be loaned out to a different club, should he be recalled.
Borthwick-Jackson has revealed in an interview with FourFourTwo that Mourinho keeps a constant eye on his development out on loan, saying:
“I speak to him [Mourinho] all the time. He’s always keeping eyes on me and he has people watching. When I first came into pre-season I got injured early on, and as I recovered he asked me how I was and things like that. When I came back he said: ‘the squad’s a bit too big but I see a future for you here’ and that I’m a ‘top player’. He told me to go out and get some experience.”
If a player like Borthwick-Jackson were to stay at the club, he would need to be afforded chances. Taking into account what Mourinho has apparently said to him, that isn’t something that can be guaranteed. And he has yet to go on a successful loan spell, where he gets a fair shot at showing Mourinho just what he can do. Should United manage to find a club that would trust him and give him enough playing time at a good enough level, it would be a good idea to send him back out on loan, because it’s clear what they tried to achieve by sending Borthwick-Jackson to Wolves was not achieved.