Manchester United are set to recall striker Charlie McNeill from his season-long loan at League One outfit Stevenage, according to Manchester Evening News.
The 20-year-old is currently in the midst of his second temporary stint away from Old Trafford after spending the second half of last season at League Two’s Newport County, where he scored twice in 20 appearances. However, his spell at Rodney Parade was considered a good stepping stone and it was hoped that he would be able to continue his development with further first team experience a step higher.
Several third tier clubs were said to have enquired about the youngster but it was Stevenage that won out. All looked to be going well when he opened his account on his debut in the 3-0 win over Leyton Orient in September, and he started two further games that month before dropping out of the side completely.
McNeill was a part of United’s FA Youth Cup winning side in 2022, which included one Alejandro Garnacho. The attacker was previously thought to be one of the crown jewels of the Red Devils’ famed academy, where he was prolific at various youth levels which included a spell at Manchester City.
It’s fair to say that the move has not gone as planned, and manager Erik ten Hag now plans on cutting the deal short in January due to his lack of playing time. It is said that all options will be assessed upon his return, although another loan move has not been ruled out.
Stevenage are currently flying in League One and sit in fifth position. Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Fleetwood Town was their fourth successive league win and they will be hoping to extend that run tonight when they host fellow promotion-hopefuls Peterborough United.
Charlie McNeill is a player with bags of potential, but he has failed to show it during his brief spell at the Lamex. It can be argued that he hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip, especially after scoring on his debut, but Steve Evans clearly favours more experienced attackers such as Jamie Reid and Kane Hemmings.
Stevenage have a very real possibility of earning promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history this season and it’s easy to see why the manager is reluctant to change a winning formula. That won’t help McNeill though and Manchester United’s decision to recall the striker is best for all parties.