Crawley Town have announced the signing of Manchester United youngster Matty Willock.
The twenty-two-year-old midfielder has signed a loan deal until the end of the season.
Brother of Arsenal midfielder Joe, Matty has experience playing in the Dutch Eredivisie for FC Utrecht, as well as in the Scottish Premiership for St Mirren and St Johnstone.
Willock joined United at the age of sixteen after starting in the Arsenal academy. He is yet to make a first-team appearance for the Premier League giants but has been an unused substitute in two Premier League matches in the 2016/17 season.
All Willock’s senior league starts have so far come in the Scottish Premiership, making twenty-three appearances in total across his two loans with St Mirren and St Johnstone scoring one goal.
Crawley Director of Football Selim Gaygusuz told the club’s website “We are really excited to have such a young and versatile player like Matty joining us for the rest of the season. Having come from Manchester United, we know that he has been trained by some world-class coaches in multi-million-pound facilities, so I’m sure he is well prepared to make an impact for us. We really wish him all the best here and hope it is a real success both for him and the club.”
Willock will join up with the squad today and will be available for Saturday’s trip to promotion-chasing Bury.
On paper, this looks a good signing for Crawley. They will be hoping that the deal is a success and opens the door for more United youngsters to head south and learn their trade.
What is interesting is that Willock has only made twenty-three senior appearance so far and at the age of twenty-two the penny is finally dropping that he needs to leave the cosseted world of the Manchester United U-23 team and play some senior football.
The People’s Pension Stadium is a long way from Old Trafford, and it will be interesting to see how the player adapts to the harsh realities of lower league football.