Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford after suffering a severe hamstring injury, reports The Mail.
The 20-year-old is expected to be out for weeks with his latest setback, possibly bringing a premature end to another frustrating season. Since joining from Crewe in 2012, Powell has struggled to break into the first team with his Premier League experience limited to just two substitute appearances.
Powell was highly rated by Sir Alex Ferguson, who completed a deal that could have seen Crewe paid up to £10 million. However, because the deal has so far been unsuccessful with a number of clauses unmet, the League One club are likely to see just £4 million.
Future in doubt
With his current contract set to expire in 2016, the latest injury is a major setback for his Manchester United career. Powell was expected to challenge for first-team place after being recalled from a loan spell at Leicester City, but has failed to do so. He had been brought back on the advice of Ryan Giggs, but has not been named in a match day squad since.
The England youth international faces a big decisions over his future in the summer with Van Gaal likely to offer him a new deal, but with little reassurance over his role in the first team. It is a depressing demise for a player once seen as a future England regular.
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Powell suffered the injury in a recent reserve game and the initial prognosis suggested it was particularly bad. However, it is now thought to have been discovered to be quite severe and will rule him out for the back end of the current season.
Is his time up?
Powell's career has failed to progress at all since he made the move to Manchester United amid much fanfare. He is, however, still young enough to reach at least near the level his talent once suggested he could.
Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen at Manchester United where Van Gaal's priorities clearly lie with spending big money on established stars. The likes of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair have bucked this trend, but only thanks to notable injuries in defence.
For Powell, he is only likely to fall further down the pecking order and needs regular first team football to restart his career. That is likely to see him drop to Championship level, but it would not be long before he made the step up to a mid-table Premier League team.
Is it time for Nick Powell to leave Manchester United or has he still got the talent to make it under Louis van Gaal? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!