Doncaster Rovers manager Richie Wellens has been impressed by former Manchester United midfielder Aidan Barlow.
The 21-year-old has been trialling with the League One side following his release at United, and was one of a few trialists involved during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Rossington Main.
Barlow, who spent the 2018/19 campaign with Norwegian side Tromso, has struggled to find first-team experience in recent years and has lacked minutes within United’s youth team in recent seasons too.
The winger netted an eight-minute hat-trick for Wellens’ side which ensured a relatively straightforward victory – something that would not have done his chances of signing a contract much harm.
Speaking to Doncaster Free Press about Barlow and his performance on Saturday, Wellens said: “He’s a player I’ve known a long time from Man Utd,” Wellens told the Free Press.
“His career has not quite taken off yet. With these young boys I think they sometimes need someone to put their arm around them and give them an opportunity. If you never give someone an opportunity they’re never going to be successful.
“He’s come in, he’s been infectious and his work-rate has been very good. I thought for the first 20 minutes he started really slowly but he’s got a knack of being in the right position, hence he scored three – though I think he robbed one off Dan Gardner, which I don’t think Dan will be happy with.”
An eight-minute hat-trick, combined with the fact that he is a Manchester United academy graduate, suggests that Doncaster fans can be quite excited about Aidan Barlow.
He is a player that Wellens has been keen on for a while and bringing him early to a first-team set-up will do him wonders. He still has a lot to do to secure a contract but the early signs are promising.
Doncaster ended the season poorly and were a side who lacked in confidence. The injection of younger players and the subsequent competition for places will certainly create a better changing room for Wellens.
For Barlow, it is now about consistency. He will be wanting to put in performances of note every time he wears the shirt, and he will be hoping that he can push on from there.