Manchester United left-back wanted by Leeds United – report

Manchester United left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is a target for Leeds United this summer after they sold Charlie Taylor to Premier League side Burnley, report the Daily Mail. Borthwick-Jackson made his United debut under the guidance of Louis van Gaal with Luke Shaw sidelined for the 2015/16 season after suffering a double leg fracture in a UEFA Champions League match against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. The now 20-year-old was given a chance to impress the Dutch manager, and that he did. That season, Borthwick-Jackson made 14 appearances for the Old Trafford club, getting well on his way to becoming a challenger for the left-back role with Shaw seemingly suffering fitness and injury troubles since his move from Southampton in the summer of 2014.

Louis van Gaal was sacked days after his side lifted the Emirates FA Cup at the end of the 2015/16 season with the club installing Jose Mourinho as the club’s new manager. The Portuguese manager made some changes at the Old Trafford club last summer, bringing in Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba and trying to steer the fallen club back on the road to glory. Borthwick-Jackson signed a new contract with United last summer, keeping him at the Theatre of Dreams until the summer of 2020, with the option of a further year to be added on. This, coming days after Mourinho’s tenure at the club started would suggest the Portuguese manager wanted to keep the player. At the time of the contract being signed, the player said:

“I have grown up at United and have enjoyed every minute of being here. Last season was an incredible experience to make my first team debut and a dream come true for myself and my family. I feel it stands me in good stead for continuing my development as a Manchester United player. I will continue to work hard and take advice from the manager and his coaching team to improve with every training session.”

Borthwick-Jackson was sent out on a loan spell with Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers where he made seven appearances throughout the season, the last in a 3-2 defeat to Derby County on the 5th November 2016. The player just did not get the first team experience he had hoped for, which was a stupid thing for Wolves to do based on the fact Borthwick-Jackson did well in the Premier League the previous season. Still, that suggests why clauses should be inserted into loan players contracts demanding a certain number of matches be played throughout the course of the season, of the player will literally be fodder at the loan club, not learning anything other than discontent from the experience.

At the tail end of last season, United utilised Borthwick-Jackson for the U23’s with him coming back to play in the Premier League International Cup, being knocked out by FC Porto and also playing matches in the Premier League 2, which is allowed whilst a player is on loan at another club as he is playing for his parent club at reserve league level, therefore not infringing any regulations set by the Premier League of the English Football League. It makes me wonder if after his season of discontent at Wolves whether Borthwick-Jackson can snap back into the form he showed under Van Gaal, which would be something Mourinho would need to try, should he still think the player has that special something to succeed at United.

Leeds do seem to be interested in the player, which may be a permanent thing, or could well be on a loan spell, which would be better. The player will have the chance to play in a tough league, gain some first team experience after a season out of the limelight and give Mourinho something to think about throughout the season, if he goes from strength to strength, which is what would be expected as we have seen what he is capable of whilst playing for United.

Leeds, however, also seem keen on former Newcastle United defender cum midfielder Vurnon Anita who is a free agent this summer. Borthwick-Jackson may be keen on a new challenge away from Old Trafford, but based on what he said after signing his new contract last year, unless that has changed, he will be happy to remain a United player, possibly looking for minutes on the pitch this season at the club, or a loan spell, which would be better for both parties, as long as a clause on the number of matches is inserted, which would be a wise move by Manchester United as sending player out on loan who are not getting any action will not aid their development.

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