Both Danny Welbeck and Kiko Macheda burst onto the scene last season in spectacular fashion with Welbeck hitting a 30 yard stunner against Stoke whilst Macheda is the man charged with gettin United’s season back on track as it began to stutter with a dramatic last gasp winner against Aston Villa in April.
Both are yet to hit 20 but are being touted for big things on the world stage with Sir Alex Ferguson even proclaiming that Welbeck could even find himself as a suprise inclusion in England’s 2010 World Cup squad.
After the heroics of last season it was thought that both would play a larger part in United’s first team picture this season but it has not been the case as they have been used sparringly and most in the Carling Cup. Although the competition is usually a good base from which youth can build a career and there is no rush, would a loan to another Premier League or even top Championship benefit the two?
Macheda and Welbeck have both played well when given their chances this season but those chances have been far and few between. Both still turnout for the reserves but having tasted the first team moving back down could have a detrimental effect especially as the standard of reserve football is not the greatest.
Welbeck has been linked with a move to QPR, West Brom in the past and more recently Newcastle have enquired about the availability of Macheda but it is a tricky situation as United must weigh up if the two can learn more from simply being around the likes of Rooney, Owen and Berbatov or gaining in-field experience at the plethora of clubs that would be willing to take them on if they were to become available.
United have had mixed fortunes with sending players out on loan in the past with David Beckham making his way at Preston North End before forging his career at Old Trafford. More recently talented young defender Jonny Evans learned the ropes at Sunderland and thus has now become an integral first team player.
Tom Cleverly is currently out on loan at Watford and is starring for the hornets and is expected to return to United and make a name for himself in the first team after being highlighted as one of the promising players that saw the Adem Ljajic deal called off.
But on the other side of the coin you have players like Giuseppe Rossi who is recognised as a massive burgeoning talent but did not get the games expected at Newcastle and after another loan spell at Parma was sold to Villareal or the case of Kieran Richardson who despite a succesful loan spell at West Brom failed to make it at Old Trafford and was sold to Sunderland.
Both Welbeck and Macheda are at an important stage in their careers and a loan may very well help them but they need to be handled carefully as throwing them to the lions right now could ruin them. I think staying at Old Trafford under the watchful eye of Fergie and continuing to deploy them in cup games would be best for both. It would mean that we have more control over how they develop and no one is better at nurturing young talent than SAF as his record with the likes of Giggs, Beckham, Scholes and Ronaldo proves.