Ralf Rangnick’s selection as Man United manager drew a lot of attention, but the topic of who will make up his backroom staff is causing just as much controversy.
Rangnick has brought in Chris Armas and sports psychologist Sascha Lense to replace Michael Carrick, who served excellently as caretaker manager.
Many people were surprised by Kieran McKenna’s and Martyn Pert’s exits. Despite some of the responsibility for Solskjaer’s dismal finish being placed on the Northern Irishman, Rangnick was glad to keep McKenna on his backroom staff.
But when Ipswich Town offered him the opportunity to take over as manager, it was too tempting to turn down.
While McKenna’s transfer to Ipswich has reduced United’s coaching staff by one, his time in charge of the Tractor Boys could be crucial to the club’s future success.
United are known for their fantastic academy, but they’ve been chastised in the past for not allowing their talented children to go out on loan to help them develop.
Lower league loans have improved significantly in recent seasons, with players such as James Garner, Tahith Chong, Dylan Levitt, and Ethan Laird all going down the leagues and gaining first-team experience.
Academy games are fine and dandy, but senior-level football experience is priceless. We’ve seen players struggle to make the move up in the past, and United’s failure to take the’middle step’ of playing for a lower league team could be where they’ve gone wrong.
One of the problems with loaning players out is that you can’t guarantee they’ll play on a regular basis.
With McKenna’s arrival at Ipswich, United will be able to operate as a feeder club for the League One team, giving the services of its young stars on loan, safe in the knowledge that McKenna will provide many opportunities for them to demonstrate their abilities.
McKenna is said to be planning moves for several of United’s academy prospects ahead of the January transfer window.
Noam Emeran, who previously worked with McKenna as United’s academy coach, is one of the players thought to be on the newly-appointed Ipswich manager’s radar.
McKenna is also said to be interested in bringing Anthony Elanga, Teden Mengi, Dylan Levitt, and Shola Shoretire down to the lower divisions.
Chelsea is reaping the benefits of having a club where they can loan their young players before evaluating their progress when they return, and McKenna’s transfer to Ipswich might be crucial in the development of United’s young talents.