David Moyes Must Think Long Term with Plan to Recall Man United Loan Players

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentDecember 24, 2013

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 20: Nick Powell of Manchester United battles with Semih Kaya of Galatasary during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Galatasaray and Manchester United at the Turk Telekom Arena on November 20, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

David Moyes' plan for the January transfer window is admirable.

Asked by the Manchester Evening News whether he would buy next month, the Manchester United manager said he will "try," but it was his comment afterwards that was most revealing.

His pledge to run the rule over loan players Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard and Ryan Tunnicliffe—three young English players—before he looks to spend is exactly the kind of thing England manager Roy Hodgson and the newly set-up FA commission want to hear. Moyes stated: 

We will try in January. I am quite actively looking at our own boys. The likes of Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe.

We have quite a lot of boys on loan and they are the ones I am making sure we keep eyes on. They are the future. They are part of the club. They have been in the system. We hope they might be able to come back and help if we need it in January.

But while it's refreshing to hear a group of young English players might get a chance in the Premier League ahead of an expensive foreign import, Moyes must give it careful consideration.

Lingard, Powell and Tunnicliffe are getting an education. On loan at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town, respectively, they are gaining invaluable experience in the Championship.

WIGAN, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Nick Powell of Wigan Athletic in action with Mamatou N'Diaye of SV Zulte Waregem during the UEFA Europa League Group D match between Wigan Athletic and SV Zulte Waregem at DW Stadium on November 28, 2013 in Wigan, England.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The list of players who have benefited from loan spells goes on and on. David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Andros Townsend, Ross Barkley, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley are just a handful.

If things had been different, it's likely that Powell, Lingard and Tunnicliffe would be playing reserve-team football this season. Instead, they have made a combined 47 appearances in the second tier. Powell has had the added bonus of Europa League experience at the DW Stadium.

The Premier League have tried to revamp Under-21 football, but it's nothing compared to the standard in the Championship.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Jesse Lingard of Birmingham City in action with Bongani Khumalo of Doncaster during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Doncaster Rovers at St Andrews Stadium on December 03, 2013 in Birmingham, En
Michael Regan/Getty Images

All three have excelled at their loan clubs, and for Moyes, there will be a temptation to bring them back to add competition to a squad that has, at times, looked threadbare.

That's especially true of Powell, who would add an extra body in midfield with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick currently on the treatment table.

But Moyes must force himself to look at the bigger picture.

If Powell is going to get opportunities at Old Trafford, then Moyes should take him back. Training with the United squad is an experience in itself, and he would certainly benefit from a run of games in the Premier League.

IPSWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Ryan Tunnicliffe of Ipswich Town during the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Watford at Portman Road on December 21, 2013 in Ipswich, England, (Photo by Robin Parker/Getty Images)
Robin Parker/Getty Images

But both Fellaini and Carrick could be back before the end of January. If Powell is going to be included in a couple of match day squads and then return to the shadows of reserve-team football, then he's better off where he is.

The same goes for Lingard and Tunnicliffe.

Sitting eighth in the Premier League table and with injuries mounting, it will be easy for Moyes to focus on the short-term benefit of recalling his loan men.

But sitting on the bench at Old Trafford isn't going to do them any good. They're getting an education in the Championship and Moyes must make sure he has good reason to disrupt it.