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Loan Report: Andy Kellett

Wondering about how Andy Kellett got on at Manchester United? Wonder no more.

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For me, the funniest and most surreal moment of the past season occurred on January Transfer Deadline Day. There was about an hour and a half left to go on the clock when Jim White totally nonchalantly declared that "Bolton Wanderers left back Andy Kellett was joining United", without any other context in the slightest.

Twitter went into semi-meltdown, Man United fans were concerned that the defender they so desperately needed would be a youngster from Bolton Wanderers, Bolton fans were playing the whole thing down presuming that by "United", good old Jim meant Sheffield, and everyone else was just wondering who the hell Andy Kellett was.

The deadline came and went with out as much as another peep about the whole thing. Nothing. Nothing, until around twenty-thirty minutes after the proverbial window had gently fastened the hatches, and it had been confirmed that Andy Kellett had indeed joined the biggest club in the land - Manchester United.

It was quite a peculiar moment with some very mixed feelings swirling about, but the residing emotion was humour, as the whole debacle was quite hilarious.

It transpired the following day that Kellett had joined United on loan to bolster the u21 team, that had been ravaged by players departing the club on loan adventures of their own.

Now, as much as it may shock you, I'm not a big follower of the Manchester United youth side. But thankfully, Paul Rowels of Stretty News is, and he's kindly offered to give us a report on how the highly rated Kellett has got on in Manchester Red.

Paul, over to you...

Manchester United, as a rule of thumb, have recently been exempt from the hullabaloo and panic associated with the January transfer deadline day. So you can imagine the Twitter pandemonium as the typically tantalising headlines ‘Manchester United sign defender' filtered through.

Little did people anticipate, much like the player himself, that Andy Kellett, who was farmed out to League 2 Plymouth Argyle to continue his football education, was the defender in question coming through the doors at Old Trafford.

A few doom-mongers expecting a stellar name were berating the news. For most it quickly dawned that Kellett was signed to bolster the development squad- with left-back Reece James making his way to Huddersfield on loan and Saidy Janko going in the opposite direction to Kellett to get some minutes under the tutelage of Neil Lennon.

Kellett was an unused sub in his first two matches after signing and debuted away at Sunderland, figuring for 6 minutes. The Bolton loanee made his full debut, ironically, against his parent club in the senior cup- receiving a rather frosty reception but making a promising start in an advanced left midfield position.

Since being an unused sub in the reds' next match against Tottenham, Kellett has played the entirety of every match thereafter. As you might expect with a young defender, there are areas he needs to brush up on- he was culpable for the goal against Leicester away from home with an untimely slip in a dangerous area. He can sometimes get caught out positionally, which can lead to some last ditch defending- in the last away game at Fulham he survived very strong appeals for handball after getting caught up field.

With youngsters, it is imperative to take the rough with the smooth- for all Kellett's blemishes, there are plenty of things which are praiseworthy. His attacking intent is his strength, very much in keeping with the modern day full-back. His positivity going forward is in no small part down to his searing pace, which encourages counter attacking at speed. Kellett has registered a couple of assists in recent matches, helping fill the void left by Reece James.

The loan spell under Warren Joyce will doubtless do Kellett the world of good, testing himself against the elite academy players even if it is not first-team football in the Football League. This opportunity will give Kellett every chance to impress Neil Lennon in pre-season and, all being well, Kellett will have a great opportunity to forge a successful career at Wanderers.

One man's pain is another man's gain as they say, and Marc Tierney's premature retirement could pave the way to the first-team at the Macron. The odds should be good, Kellett will have benefitted from one of the best football education's possible.

I, personally, do not think United will make the move permanent in the summer. I believe Kellett's time here will serve as valuable experience to push for a first team place at Bolton. I would be surprised if the move became permanent.

It will certainly be interesting to see if Kellett can break into the first team next season. I thank Paul for his time, and you can follow Paul on Twitter @RowlesPaul.