Nick Powell
Powell has made just three appearances for Leicester this season. Getty Images

Manchester United have recalled midfielder Nick Powell from his season-long loan spell at Leicester City after the England youth international made just three appearances during the first half of the campaign.

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 and United have exercised the option to recall Powell after his limited opportunities which saw him play just 42 minutes this season.

Powell returns to United just hours before the January transfer window officially opens and the England Under-21 international is likely to be sent out on loan for a second time, with Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon understood to be interested.

After joining from Crewe Alexandra in 2012, Powell was tipped to be the long-term replacement for Paul Scholes; however, unsuccessful loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Leicester have seen the youngster take a step back in his career.

The role of Powell during the reign of Louis van Gaal was initially uncertain after he was omitted from the travelling party for United's pre-season tour of the United States and asked to remain at the club's Carrington training ground in order to work on his fitness.

Powell's first appearance under van Gaal came in the humiliating 4-0 defeat to Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup, a performance which led to the former Netherlands coach sending the player out on loan to the Foxes a week later.

The recall of Powell sees the number currently on loan from United reduced to 10, with formerly established first team players Nani, Javier Hernandez and Tom Cleverley among those attempting to make an impression away from Old Trafford.

One player who will not be joining those out on loan is winger Adnan Januzaj, after van Gaal denied that the Belgium international would be offloaded in the January window.

Having enjoyed his breakthrough season under David Moyes, Januzaj's progress has stalled this term after making just four league starts, but van Gaal said: "No [he will not leave on loan]. He is a player of United."