Manchester United defender Joe Riley has completed his transfer to Bradford City. The Premier League club have confirmed on their official website that the English youngster has departed Old Trafford in favour of a move to the Valley Parade. It has also been revealed that the 21-year-old defensive ace has penned a two-year deal with the Bantams.
Riley was the skipper of United’s Under-23 side and scored a famous goal in their 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League 2 last season. He has made two first-team appearances under former United manager Louis van Gaal against Shrewsbury Town and Midtjylland before being loaned out to Sheffield United in the summer of 2017. However, Riley suffered a serious shoulder injury which halted his development.
The English full-back released a lengthy statement on Twitter which stated, “Manchester United has been my home, my family for the last 15 years. It is every boy’s dream to play for this club and I can proudly say I have achieved this.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone – from all the coaches that have helped me along the way, the staff, the many players I’ve played alongside while growing up but, most importantly, the fans that have shown constant support throughout my whole time here.
“I have so many unforgettable memories and experiences that I’ll forever be grateful for, but I personally feel now is the right time for me to move on and to start the next chapter of my career. I wish everyone at the club the very best and again thank you.”
The Reds of Manchester had a disappointing season last term and failed to win any silverware. However, Mourinho’s men were the closest challengers to Manchester City in the league and will hope that they can challenge for top honours next season if they can recruit wisely this summer.
The departure of Riley will have little to no effect on their first-team. However, the 21-year-old will benefit from playing regular first-team football at the West Yorkshire club next term. At 21, he still has a lot of time to develop and take his game to the next level. As for United, they should concentrate on making some quality additions in this ongoing transfer market in order to mount a realistic title challenge next year.
Riley had featured in 21 matches in the Premier League 2 last season and has two goals and one assist to his name. It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of the English starlet and whether his time with the Bantams turns out to be a success.