Manchester United have had an incredibly busy winter window, sending many more players out on loan.
The best XI out of all the loanees now contains a lot of names who have played in the senior team, but how would they fare if they were assembled as a unit?
In nets stands the giant frame of Radek Vitek. The 2022 Youth Cup winner has made a fine start to life at Accrington Stanley, keeping two clean sheets from his first three games. However, as he is playing in League Two, it is hard to argue that his level is currently any higher than this. Despite his form, three games are not a big enough sample size to declare the Czech under 20 keeper as too good for the league.
The defence consists of Alvaro Carreras, Will Fish, Rhys Bennett and Brandon Williams. There is no question that Carreras has been playing at the highest level of the four, as he was on loan at Granada and he is now playing for Benfica after a January move. The young Spaniard has also proven his worth in the Championship last season with Preston.
Fish has also played very consistently and he is one of the first names on the team sheet for Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League. However, it must be noted that the level of the SPL is significantly below that of La Liga or the Liga Portugal.
Rhys Bennett is on loan at Stockport in League Two but he has yet to play for the side and Brandon Williams has put on an Ipswich shirt 17 times this season. However, he has recently been suffering injuries and he has missed most of the winter schedule.
Overall, the defence is a mix of talent but does have two players who could say they can compete at least Championship standard. The inclusion of Bennett and the uncertainty of the quality of the Scottish Premier League makes this defence a strong League One level, with Carreras evidently being far too good for this level.
The midfield trio consists of Dan Gore, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri. Gore is currently on loan at Port Vale in League One but he has only made one appearance, so it is hard to tell yet if he is good enough for this level.
Hannibal already has a successful loan spell at Birmingham in the Championship and has now begun life in Sevilla in La Liga. However, he has had a tumultuous start to life by picking up two yellow cards and doing little else for his new side.
In fact, there was a fiasco where he was not included in the squad for reportedly not understanding what it means to be a Sevilla player, before being hurriedly included hours later. Nonetheless, there is no evidence that the Tunisian is above Championship level.
Then, there is the curious case of Donny van de Beek. A player who was deciding Champions League semi-final first legs in his early twenties, the now 26 year old seems a shadow of his former self. The Dutchman failed to perform for either United or Everton in the Premier League and despite an improved performance yesterday, he has hardly set the world alight in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt.
All in all, despite being a bag of revels once more, the midfield is probably comfortably Championship level.
This is where things really get interesting. The attacking trio of Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Facundo Pellistri are clearly very talented and have all played international football. Greenwood has adapted to life well in La Liga and he is one of Getafe’s most important players. Before his legal problems in 2022, he was one of the country’s most talented young players.
Despite issues in England, Sancho was wonderful in the Bundesliga before his move to the Red Devils in 2021 and has adapted well to life back in Germany.
Pellistri has found it hard to break into United’s first team but he is a key player for Uruguay and will be hoping to find his level in the lower regions of Spain’s first division for Granada.
The attack is certainly mid table Premier League level at worst. Greenwood and Sancho playing to their maximum potential is certainly good enough for European football.
All in all, this is an incredibly varied team in talent and experience, as one would expect from a loan eleven. While most the back five and Gore could be third or fourth division, the front five of this side elevate it to a Championship team.
Whether they would be good enough to be promoted or settle for mid table mediocrity would depend completely on the development of the backline. This team would score bucketfuls but also most likely concede copious chances.
Verdict: Championship level with a good cup run.