Man United outcast tipped to make first team return

Manchester United Under-21 coach Warren Joyce has admitted that Nick Powell is ready to make a return to the first team following an extended spell on the sidelines, Manchester Evening News reports.

The 21-year-old was out of action for about nine months after suffering a serious hamstring injury when featuring for the reserve squad.

He last featured for the senior squad when United suffered a devastating 4-0 loss to MK Dons last season as his contract is set to expire at the end of the current campaign.

However, Joyce revealed that the midfielder is currently in the best condition of his life as he believes Powell is ready to play regular football either under manager Louis van Gaal or at a Championship club.

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“He’s certainly put in the hours in the gym and on the training pitch and, like I’ve said, is probably in the best condition physically he has ever been in his life,” he said.

“We’re hoping he will be able to push himself forward – either in the first-team or out in the league again. He’s had that already and is really too good for Reserves football.”

Depending on whether he can impress Van Gaal for another shot at first team football, Powell could be loaned out to a Championship club once the transfer window reopens in January.

“He has proved he can play in the Championship but, if he’s got ambition, which I’m sure he has, then he’d want to prove to himself he can play in the Premier League.”

He completed the move to Manchester from Crewe Alexandra back in July of 2012 for an estimated fee of £6million, but is yet to make a major impact for the Red Devils.