There comes a point for every youngster where they need to weigh up the pros and cons of remaining on the books of a huge club.
Of course the prestige and the money that comes with the biggest clubs might be hard to turn down, but it’s easy to allow your career to drift and all of a sudden they can find themselves in their mid 20’s with no real first team experience.
The loan system does help a bit, but there’s so many things blocking the route to the first team, especially if you’re a young goalkeeper.
Fourfourtwo recently published an interview with Man United’s young goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara, and it gives an interesting insight into his future plans and mindset.
Realistically he might only be fourth or fifth choice at the club, so it’s hard to see him getting any kind of meaningful action. He’s gone through a succession of loan spells, and is turning out for Burton Albion this campaign.
It’s worth noting he’s made his senior debut for The Republic of Ireland, so he’s clearly a talented player. The way his development is going it would make the most sense for him to step up to a Championship side next term, but he also shows a real determination to play for United.
He says a lot in the interview, but the fans might be interested to hear his attitude towards improving and living his dream of playing for the club.
He said: “I’ve adapted as well as I could have possibly hoped, but nothing is guaranteed in football. I believe in myself and I’ll never give up on the dream of playing for Manchester United.”
“I’ll work on any weakness. Players can be embarrassed to practice what they’re weak at because they think it’s a sign of weakness. Not me. I owe it to myself to play at the highest level possible in football.”
That’s exactly the kind of spirit and attitude you want to see in a youngster, so it’s still possible he might find himself breaking into the team at some point in the future.
If he looks at those in front of him, David de Gea is the obvious first choice, Sergio Romero might look to move on at some point, Dean Henderson could look to leave if he isn’t guaranteed to play, Lee Grant is obviously a last resort and Joel Pereira is having a tough time at Hearts.
It might take a few years, but he could still prove to be the long term successor to de Gea when he finally moves on.