Manchester United youngster Nathan Bishop is enjoying an excellent campaign at League Two side Mansfield Town.
Tipped to be fighting relegation pre-season, Mansfield are in the play-off places and just one point back from an automatic promotion spot.
Bishop, 22, signed for United on the same day as Bruno Fernandes in 2020 and the young goalkeeper then spent 18 months working behind the scenes with the first team squad, only playing the occasional under-23 game.
He has been making up for lost playing time this season at Mansfield, where he has been an ever present, playing 32 league games so far.
Bishop was praised by manager Nigel Clough at the weekend, who labeled him ‘absolutely brilliant’.
Bishop is also impressing his fellow professionals. Former Wales under-21 international Elliot Hewitt, now 27, claims the goalkeeper is the best player in his position he has ever played with.
Hewitt told the club website: “He’s probably the best goalkeeper that I’ve played with, especially in terms of shot-stopping.
“I think his potential is wherever he wants to take himself, but he is probably the best professional that I’ve ever seen as well.
“He’s always the first in and the last out [at the training ground]. He does not eat chocolate; he does not drink alcohol. He’s the perfect professional and hopefully he’ll go right to the top. ”
United should rightly be excited about Bishop’s development, it is always a positive when a player goes down on loan and really excels.
Too early to say for next season
If Mansfield can win promotion, they will likely make an inquiry to keep Bishop for another year, and say they can continue to develop him at a new level in League One.
United may have bigger plans for Bishop, especially if Dean Henderson leaves the club, as is expected given his lack of action this season.
It’s too early to project what may happen, but clearly Bishop will have options, which may range from another loan to Mansfield, a loan to a Championship club, or staying at United.
For now, he has to finish the season strong and continue to try and build interest in his performances. He is doing a decent job at that so far.