For Nick Powell, his first season at Manchester United went from a promising Premier League debut to a miserable injury filled second half of the season, where he experienced little game time at any level. So what would be the best option for Powell in this coming 2013-14 season, knowing that his chances of first-team football at Old Trafford are set to be limited due to the world class talent that surrounds him?
If Powell stays with David Moyes, then you’d only expect him to initially be given chances in the Capital One Cup. I wouldn’t expect to see Moyes play weakened sides in the Champions League group stage to the level that Sir Alex Ferguson has in recent years. Moyes will want to start the season as the new manager as well as possible, and I don’t think he’ll be risking much.
Powell, however could be part of United’s U21 Development League squad and still be involved with first team duties when called upon. There, he will be part of the U21 League Champions and have the chance to really shine, albeit on a far smaller stage.
However, I think having played such little football at a higher level than his Crewe Alexandra days in League Two, an opportunity to move on loan would be a more beneficial option. Here, Powell can test and develop in the environment of competitive first-team football and experience the demands that come with that.
I think there are possibly a few Premier League clubs who would be interested, but there would be question marks over whether those clubs would be willing to risk Powell throughout the entire season as the rumored sides such as Norwich are expected to be in the lower regions of the table.
A Championship move may be best suited for Powell next season. Here, he can apply his impressive potential at a very decent level, in a place where one would expect him to get far more game time than the Premier League.
Wigan Athletic have been rumoured, which would obviously be only a short distance from Manchester. Powell, having recently come back from surgery, would be best to go on United’s pre-season tour if possible and then assess his situation, with a real consideration for a loan move to the Championship. However, Moyes will have a strong say on the matter.