De Laet eyes United spot
Ritchie de Laet has set his sights on making the right-back slot his own when he returns to Man Utd.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 11/03/11 12:23pm
Portsmouth's on-loan Ritchie de Laet has set his sights on making the right-back slot his own when he returns to Manchester United this summer.
The Belgium international has impressed during loan spells with Championship trio Preston, Sheffield United and Portsmouth this season, making 23 appearances to date.
The 22-year-old's parent club saw Gary Neville retire earlier this season and the former Stoke trainee believes he could be the man to fill the void left behind by the ex-England international, although he faces stiff competition from Rafael.
De Laet told skysports.com: "I know that it isn't easy to be playing in the United defence because they have so much strength in depth, with Rio (Ferdinand), (Nemanja) Vidic and (Chris) Smalling doing well in the centre and probably the best left-back in the world in Patrice Evra on the other side, so the right-back spot is the one area I'm focusing on.
"Rafael da Silva is doing really well there this season, so all I can do is focus on my game and doing well for Portsmouth and see if I can challenge him next season.
"I'm just trying to do my best while I'm out on loan because it is important for me to build my experience with as many games under my belt as possible.
"I know that I am lacking first-team experience to be in the side at United, so it is all about building that up and doing well for the club that I am on loan at, which is Portsmouth at the moment and if it helps me for my future at United as well then great.
"Hopefully the gaffer will keep up-to-date on how I am doing and watch the DVDs of my performances at Preston, Sheffield United and Portsmouth and hopefully that will be enough for him to offer me a new deal because I really want the chance to show what I can do and break into the team there."