Derby County winger Malcolm Ebiowei has decided not to join Manchester United this summer, favouring a move to Crystal Palace instead according to reports.
The 18-year-old broke into the Rams’ first-team last season, under the management of Wayne Rooney, and made 16 Championship appearances. Ebiowei scored once and assisted two during that time, though captured the attention of numerous top sides with impressive individual displays.
Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils were amongst the suitors, but the winger has opted not to head to Old Trafford, according to Fabrizio Romano. The transfer journalist tweeted: “English talent Malcolm Ebiowei won’t join Manchester United.
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“He’s set to sign his contract with Crystal Palace after medicals completed this week, it’s a done deal. Ebiowei will leave Derby County to join Palace – contract will be valid until June 2027.” Ten Hag is known for his willingness to bring young players through the ranks and hand them first-team opportunities, so the Dutchman is unlikely to be pleased by the outcome of one of his first transfer pursuits.
Whether Ebiowei would have been considered as a first-team option if he did sign for United remains an unsolved mystery, though the club are certainly short of options in the final third. The departure of Edinson Cavani means that Cristiano Ronaldo is the only remaining out-and-out striker at the club – though Marcus Rashford came through the academy as a no.9 and may revert back to that position.
Ten Hag has Anthony Martial, who failed to impress on loan at Sevilla, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga as his wide options – with exciting young prospect Alejandro Garnacho expected to become a regular in United’s matchday squad next season too. Therefore, the addition of Ebiowe would have given him another option.
Palace fans will certainly be excited by their first signing of the summer transfer window, especially as Rooney hinted that he expects big things from the winger. Speaking last season, his manager said: “I thought he was excellent all game, the best player on the pitch.
“It was one of the best performances I have seen from a young player, consistently for 90 minutes, in a long time. He deserved that because he has worked extremely hard.
“His attitude is incredible, he wants to learn and he is an exciting young player. First of all, his attitude is very good. He has got an enormous amount of ability, he is brave, he will take the ball, he is not afraid to take players on, to get tackled, to make mistakes. So he has got a really bright future.”
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