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Louis van Gaal has tough decision to make on Manchester United loanees

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Manchester United, as always, have a whole host of players out on loan this year, including many talented youngsters plying their trade in the lower leagues; Ben Pearson, Jesse Lingard and Saidy Janko to name but a few.

But in addition to this, United have a few players once seen as first teamers plying their trade temporarily elsewhere. But should any of them stay, or are they all still surplus to requirements?

Here we look at each of them in detail.

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Nani

Probably the highest profile of these players is Nani, who is currently at Sporting Lisbon in his native Portugal. He's had a solid, in unspectacular season in Portugal, scoring 10 goals in 35 appearances, including a couple of his trademark long range screamers; certainly not a bad return for a winger.

Though incredibly frustrating at times, Nani is undoubtedly talented, and I think it would do no harm to Louis van Gaal to give strong consideration to keeping him around at Old Trafford next year.

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He is an excellent option at times, and can change a game with a single piece of skill, and when on form he is nearly unplayable, though conversely he can be incredibly selfish and often his end product is severely lacking.

It's a bigger question whether or not he can conform to Van Gaal's "brain training" which he expects all his players to complete before they can play in his teams.

While I doubt this will be possible for him, he would still be a good option to have as backup, particularly as it seems that United will be playing with two wingers next season, meaning strength in depth on the flanks will be important, and Nani could well provide this.

Javier Hernandez

After enjoying a blistering start to his United career a few years ago, Javier Hernandez certainly has declined in recent seasons. I don't think this is due to a personal loss of quality, but more because opposition teams have realised how to nullify him by playing deep and not allowing him to use his pace or movement, his key weapons.

His all round game, frankly, is not good enough for him to contribute when he is nullified by the opposition like this. Though having a goal poacher like him on the bench is certainly a great luxury to have, Solskjaer having become a Manchester United legend by fulfilling this role, it seems to be a wiser option to allow United's younger strikers, like James Wilson, to come through the ranks and offload Hernandez this season.

Though he scored a crucial goal last week for Real Madrid, where he is on loan, to beat their rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, and netted a couple more in La Liga, he's had a generally frustrating season, struggling for both game time and goals over the course of the campaign.

This makes it unlikely Real Madrid will follow through on their option to sign him come the end of the season, which raises the question of his Manchester United future. Considering his age (he's 26 now), I think it would be wise for United to let him go this summer.

Though he put in some great performances for us a few years ago, and has left some fond memories (that backwards header a few seasons ago comes to mind), it would probably be for the best if he moved on, both for himself to give him the playing time he deserves, and for United's young strikers.

Tom Cleverley

Once thought of by many to be the future of Manchester United's midfield, and Paul Scholes heir apparent, Tom Cleverley has endured a meteoric decline in the past few years.

He has been much derided by Manchester United and England fans for his pedestrian passing and seeming inability to play the ball forward. And while these complaints certainly have much truth in them, they are at times overly harsh.

When playing well, Cleverley can be a solid, hard working and tidy central midfielder who rarely gives the ball away, though this is as much due to his timidity in possession than his skill on the ball.

He himself admitted that he thought his Manchester United career was over when he signed on loan for Villa on deadline day last summer, and little has changed since then. His performances for Villa have been solid, if unspectacular, and the talent United have in the midfield department means, if he returned, his game time would be almost non-existent.

He's 25 now, and it seems only logical that he will move on this summer.

Nick Powell

While never considered a first team player, Nick Powell has been on United fans' radar for some time now since Sir Alex spent around £6 million to bring him to Old Trafford from Crewe Alexandra in 2012.

As a teenager scored 15 goals from midfield that season, and scored the goal which promoted Crewe in their playoff final that year. His signing excited many United fans, and it was widely believed he genuinely had the quality to justify his transfer fee and challenge for a first team spot in the future.

But his development has stalled. Though he enjoyed a decent loan spell at Wigan last year, scoring seven goals, a solid if unspectacular return for a midfielder, his loan spell at Leicester this term has been a disaster, appearing just three times and the Foxes attempting to terminate the loan prematurely because of his "lack of commitment in training".

This sounds very worrying for a player once thought to have the quality to break into the Manchester United first team squad. Time seemingly is running out for Powell to fulfil the potential Sir Alex saw in him.

He is now 21, and needs to quickly prove his worth or risk moving backwards. Perhaps another loan spell would be wise next year, but it seems like his development has stalled irrevocably, and it would appear likely he won't be a Manchester United for much longer.

Manchester United fans: what do you think Louis van Gaal should do with these players in the summer? Let us know below!

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Topics:
Tom Cleverley
Football
Nick Powell
Premier League
Luis Nani
Javier Hernandez
Manchester United

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