Paperwork is on its way as prodigious midfielder Zidane Iqbal prepares to leave Manchester United for the Eredivisie outfit Utrecht.
Iqbal is one step away from putting pen to paper on a four-year contract at Stadion Galgenwaard, having already completed his medical checks on Monday.
The report also mentions the inclusion of a ‘significant’ sell-on clause for Man United, who may have given up the talented playmaker way too easily, perhaps inspired by Erik ten Hag’s reluctance to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Manchester-born Iqbal came through the ranks at Carrington and penned his first professional contract in April 2021 following a dazzling spell with the youth team.
He registered his senior debut later that year, joining the fray as a second-half substitute against Young Boys in the Champions League group stage.
While Man United had massive expectations for the three-capped Iraq international, the youngster has never received a real opportunity to showcase his talent under Ten Hag.
Iqbal was impressive during the off-season last year as part of the Dutchman’s summer squad but was left out in the cold without being handed a single minute of Premier League action in 2022/23.
Despite being included in the matchday squad for 17 games during the previous season, he has yet to record a single senior appearance under Ten Hag.
Man United’s desperate need for results during the Dutchman’s first season in the Premier League could be a reasonable explanation for his hesitance to rely on inexperienced players.
However, the club’s decision to renounce his services is a shock, especially given Ten Hag’s current midfield options.
Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are not getting any younger. Meanwhile, Fred has never truly convinced anyone close to the Old Trafford hierarchy of his capacity to deliver when the stakes are high.
But Iqbal should have been given a chance to prove his worth before being disposed of in a hurry.
Hopefully, Ten won’t live to regret it.
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