Manchester United loan watch: Pearson shines, James’s first defeat and more

19 Old Trafford

Rounding up how Manchester United’s current crop of loan stars fared at the weekend.

Manchester United’s first-team had a weekend to forget as they crashed to a 1-0 home defeat against Southampton.

Louis van Gaal’s side had not lost since the Manchester derby so it came as a big shock when Ronald Koeman’s men got the better of them at Old Trafford.

United failed to have a shot on target at home in the league for the first time since 2009, but while the first-team regulars were struggling to make an impact, a number of loan players were looking to get noticed from afar.

Here we take a look at some of United’s current loan stars and how they did at the weekend:

Ben Pearson – Barnsley

Ben Pearson is a wonderful midfield talent who is almost certainly destined to get chances in United’s first-team down the line.

The heir-apparent to Paul Scholes, the 20-year-old made his senior debut for loan club Barnsley on Saturday and he put in a man-of-the-match performance as the League One side defeated Yeovil Town 2-0.

Nani – Sporting Lisbon

Portuguese international Nani played the entire match for Sporting Lisbon against Sporting Braga, with his side triumphing 1-0.

The 28-year-old has impressed this season, but he has not added to his seven goals and five assists for quite some time now and he will want to get back to his best following a brief spell out injured.

Angelo Henriquez – Dinamo Zagreb

Dinamo Zagreb do not return to action until late January, meaning United loanee Angelo Henriquez must wait a little longer before he can get back on the scoring trail.

He has already scored six league goals this season and is enjoying an outstanding campaign that suggests he could have a big future at Old Trafford.

Reece James – Rotherham United

Young full-back Reece James started Rotherham’s match against Brentford but he could not inspire them to victory, with the hosts winning 1-0. He was substituted in the 76th minute of the contest.

James was making his seventh appearance for his loan club and it was the first time he had tasted defeat since his spell there began.

Javier Hernandez – Real Madrid

Real Madrid defeated Espanyol 3-0 in La Liga but United loanee Javier Hernandez did not get on the score-sheet. In fact he did not even get on the pitch.

Things have not gone well for the Mexican international since he arrived at the Bernabeu, was he has scored only four goals to date.

Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Saturday and Wilfried Zaha came on as a late substitute with the scores level. But a weaving run from the youngster lead to Jason Puncheon’s winner and Eagles elation.

Zaha still has much to prove but his temporary return to Selhurst Park has at least seen him show glimpses of the player United thought they were buying.

Guillermo Varela – Real Madrid Castilla

United’s Uruguayan right-back Guillermo Varela played in Real Madrid Castilla’s 4-2 victory against their Atletico Madrid B counterparts on Sunday.

Varela was booked in the 40th minute but aside from his habit of picking up cautions he has impressed in Spain and it will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the current campaign if United do not sign any new players in his position.

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