Regan Poole has revealed that he is finally available to play for Manchester United, exactly five months after first joining the club from Newport County. The 17-year-old defender, who had attracted attention from several clubs in the Football League, followed the likes of Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Anthony Martial by moving to Old Trafford in the summer in a deal believed to be worth an initial £100,000 ($144,000).
Signed initially to continue his rapid progress with Paul McGuinness' development squad, the Welsh youth international, who became Newport's youngest ever player when he made his first-team bow against Shrewsbury Town in September 2014, has been prevented from playing in any competitive fixtures due to a delay regarding his international clearance.
Such a problem now finally appears to have been sorted, however, with Poole named by Warren Joyce alongside Adnan Januzaj as a substitute for the Under-21 Premier League fixture against Everton on 1 February. The match was played behind close doors after a late switch of venue, with United losing 2-0 courtesy of goals from Mason Holgate and Calum Dyson.
Taking to social media to express his relief at having those restrictions lifted, the former Cardiff trainee tweeted: "Finally!! I can start to play games for my new club. Let the games begin!"
Although United have not expanded upon the reasons for Poole's absence, reports from the South Wales Argus suggest that it concerned his education and previous status as a scholar at Newport.
Despite the growing unrest regarding United's distinctly unimpressive performances under Louis van Gaal, United have had an extremely quiet January transfer window with no players arriving whatsoever.
That stance looks unlikely to change during the final hours of deadline day, although a potential loan deal for ex-Manchester City youngster and Olympiacos full-back Omar Elabdellaoui could be on the agenda according to his agent.
"The interest of Manchester United is in place," Jim Solbakken was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. "We will see what happens during the night."