Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 15.46.41In Manchester United’s must win game against Wolfsburg earlier in the week, fans were amazed to see Louis van Gaal take off arguably our best performing player, Juan Mata, and replace him with Nick Powell.

Powell has been out in the wilderness for some time now, having failed to make the most of his loan move to Leicester, where he wasn’t played because of his poor attitude. Earlier in the season, reports claimed that Powell had grown “disillusioned” with football.

However, after scoring for the U-21s the week before, Powell was seen as the most suitable replacement for Mata. In the 25 minutes he was on the field, he completed just four passes, one of which was in the attacking third of the pitch. He created no chances, he made no crosses, he didn’t attempt to take anybody on, and he didn’t make any tackles or interceptions.

Days later, with United 2-1 down against Bournemouth, and Marouane Fellaini playing better than anyone else, Van Gaal takes him off and again replaces him with Powell. In the 20 minutes he was on the field, he completed one of the two passes he attempted, and it wasn’t in the final third.

It’s not his fault that he isn’t doing enough to justify playing time. He isn’t good enough (yet?) and has been thrown in at the deep end. But why does the manager persist with using Powell?

You have to try something and we were not the dominant team so you have to change something in the position of the players, so you hope that he contributes to the making of a goal and we have tried that.