Is time running out for Cameron Borthwick-Jackson? We don’t that, but we do know one thing. The 21-year-old defender once again will play elsewhere during the 2018-19 season.
Just as it happened over the past two years when he was sent out on loan to Wolverhampton and Leeds United, this time Borthwick-Jackson will feature in the League One. The central defender has joined Scunthorpe United on a season-long loan deal. The news was announced on the club’s official website.
“I want to play as many games as I can and contribute to the team in whatever way I can – assists, tackles, blocks – whatever I can do to help the team win games, I’ll do”, said the defender in Scunthorpe’s official website. He also said he feels he is “old enough” to be a regular in Manchester United’s first-team already, and that he needs to play on a consistent basis to continue with his development.
The trigger: a severe lack of opportunities in the first team
And with that in mind, there is no question that this loan move is the best thing that could have happened to Borthwick-Jackson. He can play both as a left-back or as a centre-back, but he was not going to find playing time under Jose Mourinho. Ultimately, the lack of first-team opportunities forced the 21-year-old to move elsewhere. But had he chosen to say in the club, the scenario would not have been encouraging.
The alternatives at centre-back include Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Let’s face it: Borthwick-Jackson is not better than any of those players. The same could be said about his chances of playing on the left-back role. Do any of you see him featuring over Ashley Young or Luke Shaw?
Not the first (and not the last) loan move for United this summer
Borthwick-Jackson is not the only player that has left the club on loan thus far. Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) and Matty Willock (St. Mirren) already left the club ahead of the upcoming campaign. Other members from Ricky Sbragia’s U-23 squad could follow the same path, too.
But let’s get back to Borthwick-Jackson. He, along with Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, are a trio of Academy products that have not lived up to the expectations so far their careers. And while the latter two remain with United (for now) it is quite likely that all of them will end up leaving the club on loan soon. If anyhing, Tuanzebe has a bigger chance to stick around. His ability to play as a central midfielder could be a plus considering the lack of alternatives there.
But for now, their future seems further and further from Old Trafford. At the very least, things will remain that way until they can prove they are ready to feature at Old Trafford. And that’s what Borthwick-Jackson needs to do during the upcoming season.