An invincible league record.
A scorcher from distance to open one senior account.
A returning hero lighting up Somerset Park yet again.
It has been an eventful campaign for the Dundee United youngsters farmed out on loan to make their mark elsewhere.
Courier Sport checks on the progress of Layton Bisland, Logan Chalmers, Rory MacLeod, Bryan Mwangi, Lewis O’Donnell and Miller Thomson.
Layton Bisland (Falkirk)
Bisland, 19, was standout during Peterhead’s otherwise miserable descent to League Two, establishing himself as a Blue Toon regular while on loan from United. He has also turned out for Cowdenbeath and Brechin City.
Bisland was a part of Jim Goodwin’s senior group for much of the Tangerines’ pre-season. However, the intention was always for the versatile defender – he can operate at centre-back or right-back – to be farmed out again.
And he has enjoyed 10 outings for one of only three unbeaten teams in Scottish and English league football, Falkirk.
United, of course, are another, along with Celtic.
The Terrors were given a masterclass on how impressive Falkirk can be on their day, with John McGlynn’s charges claiming a 4-2 SPFL Trust Trophy win over United earlier this month, so Bisland is at a fine club to progress.
Logan Chalmers (Ayr United)
It is no surprise to see Chalmers thriving on loan at Ayr United, just as he did during the first half of last season.
He is something of a returning hero at Somerset Park.
Now 23 years of age, the gifted winger has already turned out for the likes of Inverness, Arbroath and Tranmere and has more than 40 appearances for United under his belt.
However, with his contract at Tannadice due to expire next summer, this campaign is a crucial one.
And it has started in fine fashion, scoring four goals and notching three assists from 13 outings with the Honest Men.
Rory MacLeod (Forfar Athletic)
MacLeod remains United’s youngest EVER player, is a regular pick for the Scotland youth sides and has been linked with a host of English outfits during his short career.
However, with plenty to learn, MacLeod personally lobbied for the opportunity to go out and play men’s football on a weekly basis.
Forfar, managed by ex-Tannadice gaffer Ray McKinnon, were more than happy to oblige.
It has been a stop-start spell for MacLeod, who has turned out seven times for the Loons, largely operating wide of a front-three. Two of those have come from the bench.
MacLeod remains on the hunt for his maiden senior goal, while Forfar will hope their recent progression in the Scottish Cup – landing a plum home tie against Hibernian – sparks their stuttering league campaign to life.
Bryan Mwangi (Spartans)
Mwangi, 18, is the least experienced of all the United players out on loan, with his short-term stint at Spartans representing a first spell away from Tannadice for the ex-Hutchison Vale kid.
The diminutive winger impressed Goodwin during pre-season training, turning out in the behind-closed-doors friendly against East Fife. He was on the bench for the United first-team in their 2-0 Championship win over Airdrie in September.
However, Mwangi has made just one appearance for Spartans to date – a two-minute cameo from the bench against Stenhousemuir.
Lewis O’Donnell (Kelty Hearts)
As a Scotland U17 international – indeed, he went to the European Championships for that age group in 2022 – O’Donnell has long been considered one of the brightest kids United have.
Injury issues made for a maddening 2022/23 campaign, but the play-maker appears determined to make up for lost time at New Central Park, with his performances reportedly attracting admiring glances from Watford.
Some strike that from Lewis O’Donnell pic.twitter.com/xL4iAzDgJM
— SPFL Mediawatch (@SPFLWatch) September 23, 2023
The 18-year-old scored his first ever senior goal with a stunning strike against Falkirk, live on BBC Alba. He teed up another in a 4-1 victory against Edinburgh City in October.
With 16 games under his belt, he is a crucial cog in the Maroon Machine; over-performing in fourth place in League One under rookie boss Michael Tidser.
Miller Thomson (Montrose)
Thomson has made a couple of appearances for United as a waspish wide forward – but is succeeding in reinventing himself at Montrose.
The 19-year-old has produced a string of stellar performances in the heart of midfield, with boss Stewart Petrie giving him licence to drift into pockets of space and create havoc.
Petrie has been rewarded with three assists and two goals in 14 outings for the Mighty Mo, with Thomson recently revealing to Courier Sport that he hopes to hit double-figures for both.
If Goodwin does look to recall any of his youngsters in January for a crack at the United side, Thomson is another making a compelling case.