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The Man Utd kid on trial at Cardiff City, how he has done and what happens next

Wales Online logo Wales Online 23/08/2020 Glen Williams

Little was known about young Oliver Denham in this corner of the world a week ago.

The Wales youth international has been training with the Bluebirds' academy after the Welsh club took him in on a trial basis.

The Manchester United centre back, who can also play on the right side of defence, was meant to be let go by the Old Trafford club this summer, but when coronavirus hit they offered him an extension up until December.

It is understood that Denham, for now, is not being considered as a challenger for first-team spots at Cardiff.

Ciaron Brown was recently sent on loan to Livingston, his third stint there, because the club believed he would have no first-team game time in the Welsh capital with four senior defenders currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

That will be the case with Denham, too, should his future lie in south Wales.

WalesOnline has been told that Steve Morison and Tom Ramasut, the under-23s coaches, have been happy with how the player has trained and performed during his short time with the club.

The under-23s have played Connah's Quay Nomads, Barry Town United, Bristol Rovers and Cardiff Met Uni so far in their pre-season fixtures and Denham has played some part and has pleased the coaches.

When it comes to deciding whether the 18-year-old Welshman will be taken on, that will fall into the hands of Morison, Ramasut and academy head James McCarthy.

First-team manager Neil Harris will have minimal involvement in deciding whether he is signed.

The Bluebirds identified centre back and right back were areas in which they needed to strengthen in that age group.

Defenders Cameron Coxe, Connor Davies, Trystan Jones, Laurence Wootton and Ryan Pryce were all released by the club back in June and now Cardiff must repopulate those positions.

There is a belief that Cardiff want to pack the under-23s with players far younger than 23, wanting to expose 17 and 18-year-olds to that level of football.

The club hold high hopes for a clutch of youngsters at around 17 or 18 and want to create a strong group at that age in order for the first team to reap the rewards a couple of years down the line.

So that is certainly where Denham slots in. He is young and a Wales youth international, too, which is of great importance to the club.

No decision has been made over his future as yet, but the academy staff will closely monitor his performances in upcoming games against Merthyr Town, Penybont and Pontypridd Town over the coming weeks.


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