Who needs Thiago when you've got... Nick Powell?

Thiago Alcantara

All of the talk is about the possibility of Manchester United signing Thiago from Barcelona but do they already own someone who long-term can fill the void?

Manchester United’s new boss David Moyes has made it clear he’s looking to use and make the most of the young talent which is already at the club and that’s good news for midfielder and striker Nick Powell.

Powell is a very special player and someone United fans got very excited about when he first signed for the club from Crewe Alexandra in a deal worth around £1.5 million.

In fact he’s such a talent, the club didn’t let him go out on loan last season, preferring to keep him in the youth teams where they could keep an eye on him and ensure that he didn’t get badly injured through the more physical nature of the football league.

He’s certainly a player, given the chance, who could cement a place in the current United attacking six over the next few seasons.

I’m not for one second suggesting that he’s a better player than Thiago right now, because he quite obviously isn’t but his potential to grow into that sort of player is something David Moyes may use as a reason not to go after the Spanish midfielder.

Powell made just two appearances in the Premier League and the Champions League last season, as well as appearing in the domestic cup competitions for the club.

In all of his appearances he looked like a very calm, composed and immensely talented player which makes it a little confusing as to why he’s not already been used more in a United shirt.

His pass rating was over 80% during those appearances which shows he can produce a very high standard despite the fact he’s not being used an awful lot.

United may still go after Thiago because football is a game just as much about the now as it is about the future and he would certainly fill an immediate gap in the United midfield.

It’s for that reason Powell will more than likely be overlooked again heading into the new season but United must send him out on loan because they cannot afford to halt his progression as a player.

He looks as though he could end up being one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League and for England in the future, which will make them nervous about giving him to someone else.

However, the club and Moyes need to work out a fine balance quickly over how much they need to bring in from the outside and the potential of what they already have because Powell is far too good to just let slip away and under the radar.

He has the potential and talent to become similar to someone like Thiago, it’s just a case of Moyes weighing that up over the need for someone of that quality and effectiveness in the team right now.

If Thiago is available, United will buy him, but it will be in the back of Moyes’ mind that he has players like this who don’t make those calibre of signings completely necessary.

How good do you think Powell can be for United?

image: © castroquini2011

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch