With more talent than Sir Alex Ferguson can handle at Manchester United next season, many other Premier League clubs have been knocking on the door at Old Trafford in the hope that a short term move can be arranged for some of the Reds youngsters. Blackburn Rovers has been the first to benefit from that embarrassment of riches by taking striker Mame Biram Diouf on a season long loan to Ewood Park.
The 22 year old was transferred from Norwegian side Molde last summer but only made the actual move to Old Trafford mid season. After coming off the bench for his Premier League debut against Birmingham City in January, the Senegal international went on to make a total of five league appearances snatching his first goal for the club in the 3-0 defeat of Burnley.
Ferguson cannot guarantee Diouf the regular football he needs because of the fierce competition for places even though he is held in high regard by the United coaching staff. He will however be able to get that under Sam Allardyce who has been in the market for a striker all summer. Rovers will be delighted to have snapped up a player of his considerable potential with the African ace having shot to prominence after grabbing 33 goals in 75 games for Molde.
The Blackburn manager could offer his latest recruit a first taste of life at Rovers in their friendly at Hearts this weekend. Whatever happens, Diouf is due to link up with the Senegal U21 squad next week for a friendly fixture, but will be back in plenty of time for Blackburn’s season opener against Everton.
With Diouf’s season now settled, it’s left for a loan deal for Danny Welbeck to be arranged by Ferguson who has already decided that the striker will be another of his players to be loaned out. Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has high hopes of obtaining his services but the ability of Blackpool and Newcastle United to offer the striker regular first team football may scupper those hopes.
Even so Sunderland still remain favourites for Welbeck’s signature. “We’re still talking” said Bruce “he’s a player we’re interested in but nothing’s been agreed yet.” Ferguson would be happy for his former defender to have Welbeck at the Stadium of Light but he knows that with Darren Bent, Kenwyne Jones and Fraizer Campbell already on Sunderland’s books, Bruce cannot guarantee the striker a place in his starting eleven. In contrast, he would be regarded as first choice at both Bloomfield Road and St James’ Park.
Both Diouf and Welback will return to Old Trafford as more complete players at the end of their loans even tough United fans will be hoping that neither will inflict too much damage when they visit with their new clubs in the season ahead.
Is Ferguson wise to send his youngsters on loan to Premier League rivals?