Questions remain over the immediate future of five Manchester United youngsters

Wilfried Zaha

What does next season have in store for Manchester United starlets Jesse Lingard, Wilfried Zaha, Michael Keane, Nick Powell and Will Keane?

Due to the new Championship season having already kicked off and the Premier League season edging ever closer, there will be five young players at Old Trafford wondering where their immediate future lies under new boss Louis van Gaal.

Last season, the five United players in question: Jesse Lingard, Michael Keane, Will Keane, Nick Powell and Wilfried Zaha all enjoyed loan spells either to Premier League or Championship clubs, and for the most part, they impressed. However, with competition for places so high, what does the former Dutch manager have in store for these talented young players?

Nick Powell, who had an up-and-down season at Wigan, has been linked with some Premier League clubs this summer, namely Leicester City, but as it stands he remains a part of the Manchester United dressing room. The question over Powell’s immediate future is when, not if, he will go out on loan this season and who to. The Premier League looks the obvious choice but without proving himself consistent at Championship level, which he didn’t, then it could be better for him to head back to the second division for try number two.

Michael and Will Keane, who both endured rough loan spells in the Championship last season, have still been talked up to having a future at the club and are most likely to head out on loan, once again, to the Championship. Saying that, however, Manchester United’s depth in central defence, as it stands, is quite poor and Michael Keane may even be named on the bench for United’s opening game.

Jesse Lingard, who was arguably the most impressive Manchester United loan player last season, could look to earn a place in the team this season, especially given the youngster’s form in United’s U.S pre-season tour. Nevertheless, with the likes of Herrera, Januzaj, Mata and Rooney contesting for first-team football in the attacking midfield positions then his regular playing time at the club looks somewhat limited. Even so, if he is to go out on loan, then the next step in his development should be first team Premier League football, even if it’s not with Manchester United.

The player almost certain to leave Old Trafford this summer, either permanently or on loan, is Sir Alex Ferguson’s parting gift for Manchester United, Wilfried Zaha. The former England international has endured rather enjoyed his time at Manchester United and Louis van Gaal allegedly isn't a huge fan of the youngster either. Earlier in the week, Nottingham Forest were linked with a loan move for the skilful winger, although it’s thought that if he is to move on that it would be to a Premier League club.

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