De Laet: Year with Norwich City can show Manchester United my worth

New signing Ritchie De Laet is hoping his year on loan with Norwich City will help him prove he can still make the grade with parent club Manchester United.

The 22-year-old Belgian became manager Paul Lambert's fourth summer recruit when he agreed a season-long deal at Carrow Road, with no recall clause.

De Laet has made just six first team appearances for United since joining the club from Stoke in January 2009, and had loan spells at three Championship clubs – Sheffield United, Preston and Portsmouth – last season.

But he is hoping that in trying to help the Canaries establish themselves in the Premier League, he can also convince his Old Trafford bosses he can stand the heat in the top flight.

'If I can gain some experience and play as many games as I can in the Premier League this season then I can go back there and give it a good go at getting in the first team,' said De Laet.

'If all goes well for me there then it will be up to me to prove to the boss during pre-season that I am good enough to wear the shirt, but for now I just need to concentrate on doing well for Norwich.'

He told 'I've got another year left on my contract after this season, so I've got until the summer of 2013 to prove myself at United.

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'It is all in my own hands really because if I do well for Norwich this season it might trigger a new contract for me back at United, but if not I will still have the last year of my contract to show what I'm capable of there.'

De Laet was in the Portsmouth side beaten 1-0 by the Canaries on the night they clinched promotion at Fratton Park, his third different club last season.

'I sat down with the coaches at United and they had been keeping tabs on me while I was away with Portsmouth,' he said.

'They asked me how I felt the experience had gone for me down there and I believe that it was exactly what I needed at this stage of my career.

'Regular football at first team level is invaluable and although it might not have been the best thing for me personally to play for three different clubs in one season, it worked out really well in the end.'


• David Bentley (from Arsenal, 2004-05): Stylish midfielder made 28 first team appearances, scoring twice, but unable to help keep City in the Premiership.

• Dean Marney (from Tottenham, 2005-06): Played 15 first team games before loan was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury.

• Arturo Lupoli (from Fiorentina, 2008-09): Scored five times in 20 outings but loan was terminated in February 2009 after Bryan Gunn replaced Glenn Roeder as manager.

• Ryan Bertrand (from Chelsea, 2008-09): Stylish left-back followed half-season loan at Carrow Road under Roeder with full Championship term that ended in relegation. Played 60 times for City. Now valued at �5m by Chelsea.

• Omar Koroma (from Portsmouth, 2008-09): Made just six appearances before an ankle operation cut short his stay.

• Troy Archibald-Henville (from Tottenham, 2008-09): Lasted until November 2008 without making first team appearance and returned to Spurs.

• Fraser Forster (from Newcastle, 2009-10): Giant goalkeeper arrived at end of August 2009, had his loan extended twice, and played 42 games. Voted players' player of the season.