Do ex-Manchester United pair regret their Fulham move already?

Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole left Manchester United for Fulham in January to reunite with Rene Meulensteen.

Many managers are given considerable funds only to be shown the exit shortly after spending them. Such is football.

But what of the players who join a club under one manager only to quickly see him replaced by another? How much of their decision is based on the man they expect to play under, and how much on the club they are joining?

In the case of Larnell Cole and Ryan Tunnicliffe, the two players joined Fulham to reunite with Rene Meulensteen – a man who they had known at Manchester United during his 12 year spell at Old Trafford.

But now, just over two weeks after the duo arrived at Craven Cottage, it is Felix Magath who will be calling the shots and picking the team.

At 20 and 21 respectively, Cole and Tunnicliffe would have believed themselves ready for first-team action. Indeed Tunnicliffe has paid his dues in terms of loan spells and possesses the talent to succeed in the top flight.

Cole is a slightly different story, having enjoyed an excellent season for United’s under-21s last year, and a loan spell would have surely been his best option – until the pull of Meulensteen of course.

The moves made sense. The former United coach knew these players and they knew him. He obviously had faith in their talents. In essence, there was no risk involved from either party.

As Tunnicliffe told Sky Sports after the move, “I've known Rene since I was nine and there was talk when he took over that he was interested in me, so it's just picked up steam this week really and I'm here now and glad to sign

Rene didn't have to sell Fulham to me, for a start they're in the Premier League and I want to play at the highest level. I know René and I know he's a great coach so I'm just excited to work for him.”

But that excitement was temporary, with the Dutchman no longer in charge. And while both players still have the chance to make a difference at the club and build long and successful careers in London, you wonder what they are thinking now, and if they would have made the same decision had they known what was to come.

image: © Tom Cuppens

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