Why the Manchester United academy striker plays for the Under-23s despite leaving on loan

D’Mani Mellor is back for Manchester United U23 despite being on loan from the club in the summer transfer window.

The 21-year-old signed for League 2 from Salford City in August for the duration of the 2021/22 campaign to boost his chances of winning regular football at a competitive level.

However, Mellor was back to represent United this weekend as he made his debut for their U23 side in a 4-0 win over Blackburn in the Premier League 2.

The United youngster prepared Alejandro Garnacho for the first of his two goals in the game while Shola Shoretire and Charlie Wellens also scored to seal the victory.

Mellor was cleared to play for the U23 squad due to a clause in his loan deal, although he was not cleared to play for the senior squad while still on loan at Salford.

The forward has a senior first-team appearance for United under his belt, coming to the Europa League against Astana in 2019, with his current loan the first time he left the club with such a deal.

He suffered injuries last season and hardly played a role in United’s Under-23 campaign, but trained with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s senior side this summer.

Mellor has only made one appearance since joining Salford on loan this summer, entering the dying moments in the 3-0 home win over Newport, with just two more appearances in a squad of the day where he was an unused replacement.

United are reviewing the progress of all of their youngsters on loan ahead of the January transfer window with Mellor one of those who could be called back to the club.

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