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Man Utd Loan Watch: Five players Solskjaer could recall in January

In the past Manchester United were revered for always giving youngsters an opportunity to break into the first-team set-up.

While football isn't what it used to be, United still practice that tradition in some form, often giving young players a chance to prove themselves in the Premier League. But considering the quality within the club's ranks, the criteria for becoming a first-team player at United is quite high which is why the club sends young players out on loan to assess their performances at clubs in various leagues including the Premier League.

Here's a look at five Manchester United youngsters currently out on loan:

Joel Pereira

22-year-old shot-stopper Joel Pereira was sent out on loan to Liga Nos outfit Vitoria Setubal back in August to aid his development considering the competition he'd face if he remained at United this season.

He's put up some great performances for Vitoria Setubal and has quickly become a fan favourite and regular starter at the club – and deservedly so. He's made 20 saves and kept 2 clean sheets in 720 minutes for Setubal.

With Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper being David De Gea, it's hard to imagine Pereira taking his spot in the near future. But should De Gea opt to leave Old Trafford anytime soon, the Red Devils are likely to give Pereira an opportunity to become United's number one goalkeeper.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Fosu-Mensah made a couple of appearances for United in Pre-season and showed why he's regarded as one of the best young full-backs in Europe.

He's agile, fast, and capable of reading and intercept passes, plus he's great at crossing the ball; he's still quite young so he's prone to mistakes every now and then, but for the most part he's a quality player which is why most United fans were unhappy about his loan exit.

He's currently on loan to relegation-strugglers Fulham, who have failed to get their act together since making their way to the Premier League. Fosu-Mensah has not featured for Fulham since being subbed off at half-time in his side's 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield. He doesn't appear to be in Claudio Ranieri's plans as the Italian tactician has not included him in any of his match day squads since taking over at Craven Cottage.

Fosu-Mensah, though, remains a talented player and should Ranieri give him the nod going forward, he's sure to do his best for Fulham.

Axel Tuanzebe

Ever since moving to Aston Villa on loan at the start of the season, Alex Tuanzebe has become a mainstay in the team. After struggling with the Championship's pace in his first few games at Villa, Tuanzebe quickly became accustomed to the league and has since made a name for himself as one of the best defenders in the division.

He's great in the air as evidenced by the 63 aerial duels he's won thus far – Tuanzebe has also managed 17 interceptions which is pretty decent considering his age.

The 21-year-old still needs a lot of time to develop into a centre-back capable of playing for a top Premier League side, but judging by his progress with Villa he's definitely on the right track.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson currently plies his trade in League one side Scunthorpe where he features as a left-back. He's made 17 appearances out of a possible 21 games as Stuart McCall believes him to be the best left-back in the club at the moment.

He's bagged two goals for Scunthorpe so far, both of which coincidentally came in the same game against Charlton Athletic back in October.

Scunthorpe currently sit in 20th-place having garnered just 21 points thus far. Whilst Borthwick-Jackson has played well for them so far, he hasn't been particularly outstanding bar a few games.

James Wilson

Once compared to Liverpool legend Ian Rush, James Wilson is yet to live up to the billing despite enjoying a successful career in Manchester United's youth set-up.

The 23-year-old was loaned out to Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen and has not managed to secure a regular starting berth under manager Derek McInnes. He's made just seven starts so far and has bagged two goals.

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Phillip Ekuwem
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