Ten Hag ponders second chance for Man Utd trio, as club realise most important factor ahead of January transfer window

Erik ten Hag of Man Utd

Manchester United could activate recall options for three players currently on loan to Championship clubs in January, a report has revealed.

A number of players are developing away from Man Utd on loan this season. Those not ready for the first team at Old Trafford have been trying to learn their trade elsewhere in order to return a better player in the summer.

But a few of those options might return to Erik ten Hag’s fold even sooner, according to the Manchester Evening News. Per their report, Man Utd are considering recalling three of their loaned-out prospects.

The trio in line for a second chance at Old Trafford are Ethan Laird, Hannibal Mejbri and Amad Diallo, who are with Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Sunderland respectively for the 2022-23 season.

According to the MEN, Man Utd have the option to recall any of them in January. Now, they are mulling over whether to do so or not.

The decisions will be tied to other movements in their first-team squad. For example, right-back Laird could return to support Diogo Dalot if Man Utd let go of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Laird has started 17 of QPR’s 21 Championship matches so far this season, providing one goal and two assists. Ten Hag actually used him more in pre-season than Wan-Bissaka, whose fortunes have not improved since the season began.

TEAMtalk understands that Man Utd will allow Wan-Bissaka to leave in January, either on a loan deal of his own or permanently. Fulham have joined his former club Crystal Palace in the race for his signature.

Once Wan-Bissaka is gone, Ten Hag will be looking elsewhere for cover behind Dalot, who remains his first choice. Therefore, Laird might earn a recall, presenting him with the chance to add to his previous two appearances for his parent club.

Man Utd mulling Mejbri, Diallo futures too

In addition, midfielder Mejbri – who has impressed over 15 appearances for Birmingham City, eight of which have been starts – and winger Amad could come back into contention in Manchester.

Diallo, it is speculated, may benefit from Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the club. Per the MEN, it may be hard for United to find a long-term successor to their former number seven mid-season, so the Ivory Coast international could help fill the void.

He has played 13 times in the Championship for Sunderland since his summer switch. From those appearances – including six starts – he has scored three goals and added one assist.

Diallo is left-footed, unlike all of Man Utd’s other current wingers with the exception of Antony. Therefore, although not yet the finished product, he could bring more balance back to Ten Hag’s team.

The report does warn that each player’s development may suffer as a result of returning to Man Utd. In the immediate future, they might not play as regularly as they are doing in the second tier.

However, Man Utd sources have told the MEN that the club must prioritise their first-team requirements. Therefore, there could be a return for Laird, Mejbri or Amad.

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