Galbraith has only played senior football three times, twice for Northern Ireland and once as a substitute for the Europa League. However, he has scored at Keepmoat Stadium, playing for Manchester United Under-21 against Doncaster Rovers in the 2019-20 Football League Trophy.
He joined a season on Friday and with Arsenal loan officer Matt Smith suffering from Covid and AJ Greaves suspended after his League Cup red card, Galbraith could even make his debut in Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday.
“He is a first-rate footballer,” said Wellens coach. “He has played football (under-23) for several years and he needs that opportunity to show that he can step forward and do it in a masculine environment.
“In terms of his skills, he is up to the task. He has a real chance of being a top player, but at some point he needs to step up and show that he can handle the physique.
“I’ve watched him a lot over the years and in the last two or three months it feels like his body is turning into a man’s now.
“I think he is a Doncaster Rovers type player and I hope we can be an important part in his development.
“He is definitely going to have a good career. Whether at Manchester United, we all know the difficulties he can have.
“I think for the next 10 or 15 years he will be a really good player.”
As a former product of the Manchester United academy, Wellens is well aware of the talent there and has shown a willingness to harness it. The summer signing Aidan Barlow was launched by the Red Devils in the summer of 2020, and Ro-Shaun Williams also came from there, via Shrewsbury Town.
Part of the challenge for young players on loan may be to fend for themselves, but, curiously, Wellens wants Galbraith to keep the comforts of home.
“We want him to ideally stay home to focus on his football,” he explained. “Sometimes the first loan is difficult for young players, but he is a Northern Ireland international, has been in training camps and has spent the entire preseason with the United first team, so we hope that his experience in the first team changing rooms help you.
“People will wonder if you can deal with the physical side. Give it a try.”
“We hope he enjoys his football, plays freely and shows what a great talent he is, but more than anything else he influences our first team and we reap the rewards from that.”
“Ideally we would have liked to have a winger or a forward first, but the opportunity has arisen and we thank Manchester United for helping us with a deal. Sometimes when really good footballers come in, you just take the opportunity.”
“We were interested in starting the preseason, but at that point we couldn’t do it.”
Left back Tommy Rowe is doubtful due to injury for Saturday with an Achilles tendon problem.
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This notice was published: 2021-08-13 13:30:00