Defender Ritchie De Laet returned to Manchester United with immediate effect on Wednesday after his loan with Norwich City was cancelled.

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The 23-year-old Belgian joined the Canaries on a season-long loan in the summer but is currently out with a back injury that has limited him to just six Premier League appearances and one in the Carling Cup.

De Laet made a promising start to his spell at Carrow Road, playing in City’s opening five matches and scoring in the 1-1 home draw with his former side Stoke City in August.

But opportunities to impress were few and far after that, with injury problems not helping his cause.

After starting in the 1-0 home defeat at the hands of West Brom in September de Laet made only two more appearances for the Canaries, both starts, in the 2-1 home victory over QPR on November 26 and the 2-0 home defeat against Tottenham on December 27.

“Ritchie has gone back to Manchester United,” confirmed City boss Paul Lambert. “We thank Sir Alex Ferguson for loaning him to us and wish Ritchie well for the future and hope he goes on to have a successful career at Man Utd.”

The announcement inevitably prompted speculation that the Canaries might be about to bring their loan contingent straight back up to two, with Spurs defender Kyle Naughton already at Carrow Road until the end of the season.

There was internet talk that young Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might be the man, but that seems fanciful given that wide player Gervinho is currently away at the African Nations Cup and manager Arsene Wenger would almost certainly need the 18-year-old flyer as cover. A more likely move would be for a back-up goalkeeper to cover for the absence of Declan Rudd, who has been ruled out for two months with an ankle injury.

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14 comments

  • Didn't rate him I am afraid

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    augustuspablo

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Oh dear your people's judgement on him is disgusting. He did make some mistakes no doubt, but that was after a long time with no time on the pitch and playing in an unfamiliar centre back role. All of our commonly used defenders have definitely made their mistakes. But this boy when playing right back was fantastic and nobody got past him thanks to his pace. Stop judging him when sitting next to your radios and see him in the flesh. OTBC.

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    Billy

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • with de laet going back to united that may mean that pl has made room for another loan player.

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    bluelight

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Is this clearing space for a GK to come in on loan with Rudd out for a couple of months.

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    PRDH

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • To me it never looked like he was really up for the PL 110% committment model. I remember him mouthing off at Declan Rudd over a mix up just after Big John was suspended following his red card and that looked really out of place with the team ethos. However, I admit to being a critic of Kyle Naughtion in the past but I am now a complete convert, he was absolutely brilliant agiants WBA. I think we are being led to believe that Spurs are asking far too much for our megaer budget; however, who knows what is happening behind the scenes.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • I had a feeling that was going to happen. Said the other week "full-back or back to Manchester?". That makes a space in the squad. I think we`re OK for CBs, specially when Ward reappears? OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • I go with augustus on that one. ILWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Otherwise that`s a pretty heavily misused word then, Swiss. It`s certainly one that journalists, marketeers, Todge and publicists are over-fond of using. It has almost lost its real meaning. We should be impressed that the Usual Suspect has restored the word to its proper use. Now he has so kindly enlightened us all in this way, perhaps he could consider that as "Job Done" and go away? Soon. Forever.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

  • In order to understand what makes a legend I consulted the online dictionary, "a nonhistorical or unverifiable story", yep, that sounds about right.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Cherrio cherrio cherrio......

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    Colby Army!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Good luck to him in the future. I always thought his pace and pedigree could be useful (even Elliott Bennett said he was one of the fastest players there) but alas his injuries (and a few mistakes) have cut his loan short. Still think he could make the grade at a prem team in the future but depends on how serious this back injury is I guess..could always go to Ipswich and have a good old relegation fight with Ged and his mates. Hopefully we get another useful loanee in ourselves

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    YorkCanary

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • I said at the time that this was a hopeless signing. Yet again I was proved to be correct. That's why I'm a legend.

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    Ged Steroo

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • do not get a reserve keeper..keep Jed Steer as number 2

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    Colby Army!

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

  • Its hard to be critical of any of the squad this season, but he's made a few mistakes when he's played. I was quite excited when he signed, but others have stepped up and looked better. As others have said, makes room for another loan player - probably a GK.

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    richard1

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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