01 février 2023
Goal machine Joe among United trio joining Alty on loan
Report by John Edwards
Picture courtesy of Manchester UnitedAltrincham have completed a notable hat-trick of loan signings from Manchester United after welcoming Joe Hugill, Sonny Aljofree and Maxi Oyedele to The J.Davidson Stadium for the rest of the season.
Defensive midfielder Oyedele arrived at the club a couple of weeks ago and went on as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield, and striker Hugill and centre-back Aljofree have now joined him at Alty.
Hugill, pictured on the right alongside Sonny, brings with him a growing reputation as a strong, forceful centre-forward who leads the line confidently and competently and has a keen eye for goal, as underlined by his scoring record since signing for United in a £300,000 deal from Sunderland in the summer of 2020, amid serious interest from Arsenal and Tottenham.
Durham-born, he had already hit the ground running as a consistent marksman for the Reds' junior teams when he made headlines in January 2021 by becoming only the second player in United's history to score four goals in a game against Liverpool, as United's under-23s blitzed their Anfield counterparts 6-3
The 19-year old 6ft 2in frontrunner has continued that prolific form into this season after shaking off an injury and returning to spearhead United's PL2 Division One attack to such effect, they have won every game he has featured in and he has scored in each one.
Just over a week ago, they were trailing 2-0 after only 12 minutes at West Ham's Rush Green Stadium training complex when Hugill took hold of proceedings and turned the game on its head.
He calmly sent the keeper the wrong way with a 52nd-minute penalty slotted into the bottom right corner and hauled his side level with a close-range finish 20 minutes from time. The comeback was complete when another Alty loanee, Sonny Aljofree, headed home an 85th-minute corner to give United a 3-2 win.
Hugill's tally now stands at six goals from five appearances this season, ands his latest exploits earned him recognition from his team-mates on Instagram, with midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, recently involved with United's first team, saying "The inevitable Hugill" and Maxi Oyedele adding "Again though".
Plymouth-born Aljofree, 18, is a highly-rated central defender who trained with the first team last August, prior to United's opening Premier League fixture with Brighton, and we wish all three players a happy and successful time at The J.Davidson Stadium.
In a release on their website, the Old Trafford club confirmed the trio's loan move to Alty 'as part of an innovative loan scheme designed by United’s Academy coaches' and added:
'The club would like to place on record it’s thanks to the staff at Altrincham FC for their support in this process and collaboration across a number of recent projects.
'United have developed a number of mutually beneficial excellent relationships with local football clubs. Altrincham FC, Stockport County and Salford City have all made use of United’s facilities this season, taken players from the club on loan or given players the opportunity for pro experience.
'The various initiatives showcase the Academy’s dedicated support of the local football ecosystem, bringing the North West football community together to increase expertise and develop the wider game.'
Travis Binnion, Head of Player Development and Coaching, said 'We are really pleased to launch this scheme and enable three players to gain excellent experience of non-league football.
'Each of them will hugely benefit from this unique learning opportunity, playing senior football in a competitive environment whenever we agree that the time is right for both clubs.
'We want to thank Altrincham for their support and look forward to the numerous benefits that this scheme will provide to everyone involved.'