IT was a case of careful what you wish for when Michael Svidersky gambled with his future.
The Slovakian midfielder was highly-rated at Manchester United – and even compared to five-time Premier League winner Michael Carrick.
But last summer, before the arrival Erik ten Hag, the 20-year-old opted to run down his contract for first team chances elsewhere.
Despite an offer on the table from Old Trafford chiefs, he left for free for Almeria.
However, he is yet to play a single minute for the LaLiga club, and instead is playing for the club’s B team in the Spanish second division.
If he had stayed put, with ten Hag’s belief in giving youth a chance, perhaps Svidersky could have been in the Red Devils first team this term.
Brave new world
United couldn’t have been blamed for getting stuck in a predicament, where they lost a young talent for a minimum fee.
They did manage to gain a small compensation package for the Slovakia U21 international in recognition of the three years he spent in Manchester for his development.
They even did their best to keep him – offering him a new and improved contract.
Svidersky’s mind was made up, though.
While still employed by Man Utd, he took to Instagram to reveal: “I have spent the last days in Spain, where my steps will continue.
“They will follow in the first Spanish league, La Liga. I have high expectations, it will be a new experience, a new country.”
Choosing lowly Almeria for his next adventure, Svidersky would be following a familiar path trodden by United’s youth starlets of the past.
Belgium wonderkid Largie Ramazani made the same move in 2020, and has gone on to be a relative success in Andalusia.
While last year, it was Spanish midfielder Arnau Puigmal who also swapped the Theatre of Dreams for the tiny Power Horse Stadium that boasts a 15,274 capacity.
Svidersky understood the step down.
“I experienced a lot of nice moments in Manchester, but also difficult moments. They definitely strengthened me and taught me a lot. I tried to use every second,” Svidersky told Flashscore.
“I prioritised personal development over ‘fame’. I met great people who I have stayed in touch with. Thank you also for my second parents from Manchester who have already come to visit me in Spain.”
Before Svidersky arrived at Old Trafford in 2019, he was highly coveted.
Manchester City offered him a trial, while deals from Chelsea and Liverpool were in the offing.
It was United that got there first.
He was the club’s Scholar of The Year for the under-18 category in his first season at the club.
In 2020, Svidersky also made his senior debut with the under-23s against Rochdale in the EFL Cup.
However, with first team opportunities getting increasingly hard to find he took a punt on a career elsewhere.
Hasn’t quite worked out… yet
Back in the summer, after a three-year association with United, Svidersky left the club.
Sadly, it hasn’t quite worked out as the talent would have hoped in Spain.
In fact, he his yet to feature in any minutes for the recently promoted side – propping up the bench eight times this campaign.
He has played for Almeria’s B team in the Spanish second division, but that’s far from the dizzying heights he was used to.
At 20, there’s still time on Svidersky’s side to unleash his potential.
He would need to be given a chance, mind.
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