Nick Powell is coming to the end of his injury nightmare and is set to return to training with Manchester United this week. Powell, 21, was signed for the club by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012 from Crewe Alexandra and was tipped by many to have a bright future at Old Trafford. The midfielder however has disappeared off the radar after an injury-ravaged 2015.
He was one a handful of players to be shipped out last season following the club's harrowing 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, joining Leicester City on a loan deal. Powell failed to make a big impression with the Foxes however and suffered injury in December 2014, before undergoing knee surgery earlier this year.
The midfielder failed to impress Louis van Gaal following the Dutchman's arrival but will have another chance to prove he can have a future at the club. He tweeted: "Weekend off before getting back into training after so long."
Powell was not given a squad number this season but was included in both United's Premier League and Champions League squads. He has one more year remaining on his contract.
Powell is the forgotten man at Old Trafford. When making his move to the club in 2012 he was initially viewed as a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes in midfield by Ferguson and his former Crewe manager Dario Gradi.
"I asked Dario if Nick could be a central midfielder. Dario thinks that's his position and Nick does too so we're all in accord. We hope he'll be a central midfield player and that's where we'll develop him," Ferguson said over three years ago.
While he scored on his debut in what also turned out to be Ferguson's last season in charge at Old Trafford, he has seldom challenged for a role since. Powell scored 12 goals on loan at Wigan Athletic in the 2013-14 Championship campaign but failed to take his chances when he joined Leicester following their return to the top flight last season.
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson was reportedly unhappy with the 20-year-old's time keeping and attitude during his four months at the King Power Stadium. United then opted to exercise the option to recall Powell after his limited opportunities which saw him play just 42 minutes last season.