He scored a superb hat-trick against Liverpool on Tuesday night to propel himself into the spotlight at Old Trafford but he could be one of the most unfortunate youngsters to progress through United’s youth system ever.
His age of 20-years-old is ironically on the older side when it comes to younger players looking to progress from an Under-21 side and break into a first team.
The point is he’ll be getting to the point where he’ll be getting itchy feet over his future. There is no obvious way for him to break into the United first team so it’s important David Moyes gets him out on some high profile loan deals very quickly.
That will pacify any cravings he has for first team action and it takes the pressure off of United in terms of making a decision on his long term future.
If they can get him tied down to one or two very long and very productive loan spells, he will return with a much better chance of playing in the current United side.
If that is something which Moyes doesn’t do in his first season as United boss, Cole could simply stay in the youth team ranks until he becomes too old for them and with United’s current crop of first team midfielders, he’ll simply be moved on.
Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and even Wayne Rooney can all play midfield roles, which means unless there is a sporadic run of injuries at the club, Cole is not going to get a Premier League game.
It would be a shame if he did fall through the cracks because he has all of the natural skills and qualities which could make him a very good player in the future for the club.
Any midfield man coming from Old Trafford is likely to interest plenty of other sides but United need to think long and hard over the best way to use him throughout the summer.
There is always the chance that Moyes could use him for the lower profile competitions the team will be involved in next season such as the League Cup.
That will give him a chance to see first hand if he has what it takes to be a competitive midfield player and whether he can break into the first team faster than expected.
He’s in a very similar position to the one Tome Cleverley found himself in around the same sort of age. Fortunately for United, three years ago Sir Alex Ferguson gave Cleverley exactly what he asked for with loan spells which prevented him from having any reason to doubt or leave the club.
At the moment Cole looks as though he could end up being one of the most talented midfielders who never plays a Premier League game for the club, especially as United are being tipped to bring in young and high quality midfield reinforcements this summer.
Do you think Cole has a long term future at United?
image: © dullhunk