Manchester United Defender Joe Riley Joins Sheffield United On Loan

Manchester United youngster Joe Riley has joined Sheffield United on loan for the rest of the season, the club have confirmed.

The 20-year-old defender has recovered from a recent hamstring injury and will now move to Bramall Lane in search of regular first-team football with the League One side.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wiley has revealed his delight at capturing the versatile star who can play at full-back or in midfield:

“Joe is a young player who is comfortable playing on both the right or left and that versatility will be important for us,” he told the club’s official website.

“We are delighted to have him with us for the remainder of the season and happy that Manchester United have allowed him to further his development here.”

Sheffield United are currently top of League One, a point ahead of Scunthorpe, and welcome Gillingham to Bramall Lane on Saturday, a match in which Riley could debut.

Riley broke into the Manchester United team last season under Louis van Gaal and made two highly-promising appearances for the first team.

The youngster made his first senior appearance in the FA Cup fifth round tie against Shrewsbury Town, coming on as a substitute at half-time as United won 3-0 on their way to winning the trophy.

Riley then started the Europa League tie with FC Midtjylland at Old Trafford in a 5-1 win, a memorable game which saw Marcus Rashford make his debut and score twice as United qualified for the last 16.

The youngster, who has been at United since the age of six, then spent the rest of last season with the Under-21s, largely playing at right-back and making 19 appearances as the team won the title.

Riley has not had a look-in with the first team under Jose Mourinho but has starred again for the reserves, usually at left-back, and will be hoping to further his development at Bramall Lane.

Full-back has been a position where United have struggled for options this season. While Antonio Valencia is the first-choice on the right, there are few other options while on the other flank Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have all featured but with no player yet to make the spot his own.