Chileans concerned at Angelo Henriquez lack of match action

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Manchester United's Angelo Henriquez, on loan at Wigan, could be called into Chile's under-20 squad to get some game time.

Angelo Henriquez was Manchester United's 'bonus' signing last summer, and is yet to get a chance at the Red Devils to impress for the club.

The Chilean was wanted by United as a long-term target, and they were forced to bring him in early and pay Universidad de Chile for his services after reported interest from rival clubs.

Henriquez spent the first half of the season with the under-21s, before clinching a loan spell with Wigan which he hoped would hand him a breakthrough in English football.

It hasn't worked out like that, with the forward making just two substitute appearances for the Latics in the Premier League, although he did score for them on his debut in a 3-2 loss to Southampton.

Chances haven't been forthcoming though, with his most recent appearance in the FA Cup semi-final, when he came on as a last minute substitute.

It was reported in early April that due to his lack of impact, the player was already eyeing another loan next season to try to achieve what he hasn't been able to in his first season at United, and that's become a Premier League regular.

His season has been up and down in the respect that after signing for United he was called into the full Chile international squad, and even scored on his debut for them in late 2012.

But when the squads for the international fixtures were recently announced, Henriquez did not feature, losing his place due to the fact he had not been playing for his club.

Keen for the development of their budding star not to be damaged, over in Chile they are making plans for him.

As reported by Chilean newspaper La Nacion last week, they want to make sure he stays sharp, being a little underwhelmed at the lack of chances he is getting.

In an interview with Chile under-20 coach Marcelo Salas, La Nacion reported: "It was concerned almost national striker Angelo Henriquez has had almost no activity in Wigan, England."

Salas himself said he does not blame Henriquez, simply noting that the Premier League is a huge step up from Chile's top division, especially for a young player, to transcend.

So Salas himself is planning to get involved, and bring Henriquez over for some match action. He said: "Hopefully we can meet their inactivity and find a friendly game where we can have him."

A step down to Chile's under-20s certainly won't do the attacker any harm, who like his United move, should see his full international cap earlier this season as a bonus.

It won't do United any harm either, and will be good for Henriquez to spend some time among his compatriots and get some game time under his belt.

He may still have an important part to play this season for Wigan, as their relegation fight reaches a crescendo. If not, then he will get his chance for United in pre-season, something he missed last season due to signing late in the transfer window.

This season hasn't been perfect for him, but just being around the Premier League will keep him in good stead, and so long as he kicks on next season, his international prospects at senior level should be re-ignited too.

 

image: © markscottjohnson

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