Ferguson ponders recall for Frazier Campbell
Sir Alex Ferguson is considering whether to recall Fraizer Campbell from his loan spell at Tottenham in January -- and quashed any suggestion Danny Welbeck could be heading for a short-term stint away from Old Trafford.
The Manchester United boss reluctantly allowed Campbell to join the White Hart Lane outfit on transfer deadline day as part of the deal that saw Dimitar Berbatov move north for a club record £30.75 million fee.
Although Campbell struggled to impress former boss Juande Ramos, he has been given his chance by Harry Redknapp and scored three times in two games as Spurs' revival gathered pace.
The 21-year-old Yorkshireman also scored for England Under-21s in their victory over the Czech Republic at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, confirming he is a man in form.
Redknapp has spoken of his desire to sign Campbell on a permanent basis. However, Ferguson has revealed a clause in the youngster's loan agreement that would allow him to go back to United in January.
And, if Campbell keeps going at his present rate, Ferguson would not be scared to use it.
"We could pull him back in January,'' said Ferguson.
"We have to the option and it is a possibility.
"The boy has been fantastic at Spurs.
"He is a good player but we needed to get him first-team experience, so we agreed to it so the deal with Berbatov went through.''
However, while Campbell's short-term future remains undecided, Welbeck's is very much at Old Trafford.
The Longsight-born star does not celebrate his 18th birthday until next week but he has already made a big impression on Ferguson.
Welbeck scored on his Premier League debut against Stoke last Saturday and, with Berbatov sidelined for at least a couple of games after picking up a hamstring injury in Bulgaria's encounter with Serbia on Wednesday, will retain his place in Ferguson's squad for tomorrow's visit to Aston Villa and the Champions League trip to Villarreal.
His improvement has been so rapid, some pundits have suggested Welbeck will be the next United player to further their education elsewhere for a short time.
But Ferguson feels Welbeck is too young to lose day-to-day control of his development and by mixing infrequent appearances in the first team with events like next Thursday's Youth Cup tie with Chelsea at Old Trafford, he can get enough football by staying where he is.
"It would be crazy to let Danny go out on loan,'' said Ferguson.
"He is too young. He is still that gangly lad who has not fully matured.
"We can work on his physique knowing we are not playing him all the time.
"He trains with the first-team squad all the time now but he can also go and enjoy himself playing for the youth team or the reserves."
The attention on Welbeck has only increased because Ghana have made a bid for his services.
Capped by England at Under-19 level, Welbeck could continue along the Three Lions path or choose to represent the country of his parents.
Ferguson has offered some sound advice -- ignore both and play for Scotland instead.
"His parents are from Ghana so it is not a surprise,'' he reflected.
"It is the boy's choice, although I would be surprised if he didn't play for Scotland. That is my big challenge now.''
Meanwhile at the other end of the age scale, Paul Scholes' has been pencilled in for a December 10 comeback against Aalborg.
The former England star has been out since suffering knee ligament damage against the Danish outfit in mid-September.
Scholes' recent recovery has been so rapid there had been suggestions he could feature against Manchester City next weekend.
That will not happen. But Ferguson says the 34-year-old could be in action immediately before the visit to Tottenham on December 13, which precedes the Club World Cup in Japan.
"Paul is coming on fine,'' said Ferguson.
"He will be ready for the week of the Tottenham game.
"He has started to involve himself in some of the first-team training sessions because, as always with that type of injury, he has made good progress.
"It will be a few weeks yet but he is not far away now."