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The player Fergie tipped to replace Paul Scholes at Man United has been quietly released

Nick Powell moved to Old Trafford in 2012 but has not been offered a new deal and exits along with goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FOUR YEARS AFTER Sir Alex Ferguson signed him from Crewe and billed him as a potential successor to Paul Scholes, midfielder Nick Powell has been released by Manchester United.

Brought to Old Trafford at 18, Powell cost the club in the region of £4 million but arrived just as United faced into a tumultuous transition.

He made six appearances during what would prove Ferguson’s final season in charge and memorably scored 10 minutes into his debut in a league game with Wigan.

When David Moyes arrived in the summer of 2013, Powell was sent on loan to Wigan where he impressed, scoring seven times in 23 Championship starts.

But once Louis van Gaal was unveiled as manager, Powell’s days seemed numbered as the Dutchman assembled an expensive array of high-profile signings.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United Press Conference - Old Trafford Source: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

He was sent on loan again, this time to top-flight Leicester, but Nigel Pearson cancelled the deal early and Powell was back at United by January 2015.

Incredibly, for a brief moment late last year, Powell was back on the fringes of the United first team as injuries decimated the senior squad.

Named on the bench for a crucial Champions League game against Wolfsburg in December, Powell was brought on by van Gaal for the final 20 minutes as United desperately but unsuccessfully chased a way back.

Four days later, Powell was handed a cameo again as United were beaten 2-1 at Bournemouth.

And then, he was gone again – dispatched to Hull where he made five appearances.

Now, with his contract up, he’s finally been allowed leave and can properly look to make a new start elsewhere.

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Meanwhile, Powell isn’t the only player looking for a new employer.

Soccer - Barclays U21 Premier League - Manchester United v Chelsea - Leigh Sports Village Source: Martin Rickett/EMPICS Sport

United have also revealed that goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been released after a strange and controversial spell at the club.

Signed as a free agent by the club in January 2015, he featured in successive league games as United secured fourth place.

He replaced an injured David de Gea during a 1-1 draw with Arsenal while he started in the goalless draw with Hull a week later.

But after clashing with van Gaal, he was banished from the senior side and treated as an outcast with no dressing-room locker and forced to train away from the first team.

He eventually joined Belgian side Standard Liege on loan in January, making six appearances.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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