Kristian Dyer of The Athletic is reporting that American defender Matthew Olosunde is exploring a move from Manchester United to Major League Soccer. The move would be to “specifically rejoin the [New York] Red Bulls.” However, the club is uninterested in “a short-term loan that would see him come back to the league to get some matches then depart later in the summer for preseason with [Manchester] United.”
This loan (or transfer) has been discussed for a few months, with each update indicating that it is closer to completion. According to Matt Reed of NBC Sports Pro Soccer Talk, there is competition for the American fullback, as “several English and League One sides have expressed interest in… a potential loan deal next season.”
Olosunde joined Manchester United in 2016 after spending several years with the New York Red Bulls academy. The 20-year-old recently made his senior national team debut for the United States, coming off the bench in May’s 3-0 victory over Bolivia.
Despite making occasional appearances in the match day traveling squad and training with the first team, Olosunde has yet to break through at Manchester United. This past season, he played in 28 matches with the club’s under-23 squad in a disastrous Premier League 2 season that resulted in relegation.
While still in the early stages of his career, it’s understandable that Olosunde wants to earn playing time at the professional level. There are undoubtedly many fans and pundits who would prefer he stay overseas, but the Red Bulls should have an opening at right back and have provided an environment conducive to the development of young players.
Is it better for a player to train with a top-tier club or to feature for a smaller club? There will always be discussion and speculation over what young players should do with their careers, but there remains no surefire path for development. A loan or transfer to MLS could be viewed as a setback, but it’s hard to argue against an increase in playing time and the comfortable setting of one’s hometown club.