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Sunday, January 16, 2022

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D’Mani Mellor returns from loan to start for Manchester United under-23s – United In Focus

Manchester United’s under-23 side welcomed D’Mani Mellor back to the starting line-up for Sunday’s match at Blackburn.

This was Mellor’s first action for the under-23s since early August, before his loan spell at Salford City began.

Mellor’s stint at Salford City has not panned out very well at all. He has made only one appearance as a 90th minute substitute.

(Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images) He has been an unused substitute twice and has failed to make the bench since late September.

It’s unclear if this has been a simple selection issue, or whether there have been underlying fitness problems contributing to his lack of action.

Mellor’s loan was hastily arranged after he recovered from an ACL injury suffered in July 2020, to return for United’s under-23s in pre-season in 2021.

After featuring in three games for United’s under-23s, in which he scored one goal and provided one assist, a loan deal was agreed with League Two side Salford, which the club stated was a season long loan.

Return to United Mellor’s return to United’s under-23s may just be temporary. It was a good chance for him to get some game time, in the absence of opportunity at Salford.

He was named as starter as United beat Blackburn, as part of a front three with Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie McNeill.

With Anthony Elanga with the first team, and Joe Hugill injured, extra attacking reinforcement was welcome.

Mellor featured in an easy win, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring the opener after just six minutes.

Shola Shoretire added another, before Garnacho netted his second and Charlie Wellens scored a fourth in stoppage time to seal an impressive 4-0 win, United’s best result of the season in the under-23s so far.

It does look a stretch that Mellor has a long term future at United beyond this season, when his contract runs out. He is 21 now and needs to kick on.

The loan at Salford has not provided that so far, and while it has not been cancelled officially, it is very possible United recall him in January and look to find a new club for him for another loan.

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