Nick Powell hasn’t played for Manchester United at any level since playing Southampton’s U21s on 9 April and fans were beginning to wonder just what had happened to him.
The 18-year-old had been extremely impressive throughout the season whenever United fans got a glimpse of him and he looked too good for the U21s even at just 18.
But it seems that Powell’s absence has been because he has undergone surgery that will rule him out for the rest of the season. Powell tweeted this picture of himself in what looks like some hospital scrubs with the hashtag ‘#nextseason’.
There has been no confirmation on the extent or type of Powell’s surgery but given that there are only a couple of games left for the year, it is likely that we won’t see Powell back in action until next year.
“For a young lad, to come into an environment like Manchester United from a lower league club, you have to say he walked in with his shoulders back as if he’s meant to be here. And that’s a great start to his career here.” Rio Ferdinand on Nick Powell
The big question is whether or not Powell will join up with the squad for its Asian pre-season tour that will visit Japan, Thailand and Asia because having a full pre-season to regain match fitness really helps any player settle back into the routine.
At 18, Powell is undoubtedly one of the most exciting prospects out of United’s youngsters. Bought from Crewe last summer, he quickly settled down at Old Trafford and announced himself in the best way possible by scoring a screamer on his debut against Wigan.
He wasn’t even phased by the tumultuous atmosphere of Galatasaray on his Champions League debut and was one of United’s best performers in the 1-0 loss away, almost netting with a cracking header that rattled the crossbar.
Hopefully the surgery is simply minor and Powell will be back to full fitness as soon as possible. With Scholes retiring, Fletcher fading, Anderson aggravating and Cleverley plateauing, United need a midfield spark from somewhere.
When he made his debut against Wigan, he came on for Scholes and scored a screamer from outside the box. Is that a sign of things to come? We all hope so.