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Assessing Man United's loans following Januzaj's troubled Dortmund spell

Manchester United attacker Adnan Januzaj is on the road to recovery, after scoring twice in an under-21s match against Oldham at Carrington on Monday, as he looks to put a troubled loan spell behind him.

Januzaj, 21, was sent to Borussia Dortmund last summer with the aim of securing more game time but his spell there did not work out, meaning he returned to United in January and has subsequently been hampered by hamstring trouble. He is not the only once-promising United player who has struggled, having been sent out on loan by the club, though.

The benefits of United's loan deals this season have been questionable. Here we look at five men who have been sent out on loan during 2015-16 and examine what has happened.


Adnan Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj made six Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund.

Where has he been loaned?

Borussia Dortmund -- August 2015 to January 2016

What were the circumstances?

Januzaj had already made 60 career appearances for United when the Belgian, 20 at the time, was sent out to Germany. He had started the 2015-16 season well for United, scoring on his first start, which proved to be the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa. Van Gaal said that he had given the player opportunities, having used him four times at the start of the season, but decided it would be better for him to be in another environment. He departed for what was intended to be a season-long loan.

Has it been a success?

It was a difficult spell for Januzaj, whose loan to Dortmund was ended early. He made just six appearances, totalling 165 minutes, and was told that he was not in the German club's plans for the second half of the season. Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel said that the player did not show the attitude or desire needed to progress.


Tyler Blackett

Tyler Blackett has made four starts for Celtic in all competitions.

Where has he been loaned?

Celtic -- August 2015 to present

What were the circumstances?

Tyler Blackett's first taste of first-team football arrived when United sent him on loan into the Championship during 2013-14, making five appearances for Blackpool then eight for Birmingham City. The defender then made a dozen appearances for United's first team the following season. Blackett, 21, was not included in any of United's six matchday squads in August though, meaning that the club sent him to the Scottish champions on a season-long loan for more game time.

Has it been a success?

Made crucial mistakes in his first two games for Celtic during September, but insisted he would learn from them. Blackett, though, has played only twice for Celtic since the end of October, taking his total number of appearances for them to eight. Meanwhile, United have endured a full-back injury crisis, meaning that Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has had to step up into the first team.


James Wilson

James Wilson Brighton
James Wilson has scored three Championship goal for Brighton so far this season.

Where has he been loaned?

Brighton -- November 2015 to present

What were the circumstances?

There was criticism from some quarters for Van Gaal after he let Wilson leave, with United having only Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial to call on as specialist strikers. The 20-year-old Englishman had scored twice on his United debut against Hull in May 2014 and gone on to make 19 appearances since then, scoring twice. Wilson was moved out to gain first-team experience until the end of the season but sent to a Championship team, meaning he could be called back in case of injuries.

Has it been a success?

Scored goals on his first two starts, against Charlton Athletic and Derby County, but that was to prove a false dawn, as he has managed only one more goal for Brighton in 12 further appearances for the club. Despite Rooney's injury in February -- and a subsequent injury-enforced absence for Martial later in the month -- Van Gaal has not recalled Wilson. That has given Marcus Rashford the opportunity to step up to the first team.


Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes signs for Standard Liege on loan in January.

Where has he been loaned?

Standard Liege -- January 2016 to present

What were the circumstances?

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who has won 20 caps for Spain, would seem to have experience that would be valuable to share around the United squad. He signed in January 2015 on an 18-month contract but there would soon be trouble, as Van Gaal claimed in the summer that the Spaniard had refused to play in an under-21s match. The player responded with pictures on social media of him playing for the U21s. He was put on the transfer list and later sent to Belgium on a six-month loan deal.

Has it been a success?

United's rookie goalkeeper Dean Henderson had said that he enjoyed working with Valdes in training, so the experienced player's presence -- had he been on good terms with the club -- could have been beneficial to United as a whole. Instead, he went to Liege and made a mistake on his home debut, allowing Sint-Truiden to score and win the game 2-1. Lost his cool in one match when he grabbed an Anderlecht player by the throat.


Nick Powell

Nick Powell
Nick Powell in action for Hull against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Where has he been loaned?

Hull City -- February 2016 to present

What were the circumstances?

Powell was highly rated by former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson when he joined the club as an 18-year-old in June 2012. His first season was promising, with a debut goal against Wigan Athletic, and he made six appearances. Spent the next season on loan at Wigan, scoring 12 in 41 games, but a troubled spell at Leicester City came the following season. During 2015-16, he was handed two appearances by Van Gaal in December then was loaned to Hull, with the player citing "personal reasons".

Has it been a success?

These are early days for Powell, who wants more game time ahead of his contract expiring this summer, but he is not yet a guaranteed starter in the league for Hull, who are in the Championship promotion race. The 21-year-old has made one start and three appearances as a second-half substitute and is yet to score. Caused a stir when he said he was playing computer game FIFA 16 rather than watching United lose at FC Midtjylland in February.

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him @ARejSport

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