Where are they now?: Darron Gibson a.k.a the next Paul Scholes

An academy product, flashes of brilliance and tons of off-field issues: that’s Darron Gibson in a nutshell. Born in Derry, Ireland, Darron Gibson joined United back in 2004. He primarily played as a centre midfielder and was tipped as the ‘next Paul Scholes’! But like so many before him, his potential faded away with time.

He spent 7 years as a United player making only 60 appearances and scoring 10 goals. He usually played for the reserves, occasionally playing in League Cup matches or making the substitutes bench in the league. In 2005-06, the Reserves won the treble and Gibson was awarded the prestigious Jimmy Murphy award as best Reserves player.

During his later years, he was essentially used as a squad rotation player, never cementing a place in the strongest 11. Yet his occasional moments of quality kept fans interested in him. His long-range screamer in the 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich will always be remembered fondly!

Old Trafford exit

He was like a small fish in a very large pond, subsequently, he decided to leave Man United to help his career. In 2011, a fee was agreed with Sunderland but the transfer was called off as Gibson did not agree to personal terms. The following season Gibson made just 2 appearances and left for Everton in the summer for an undisclosed fee.

Gibson became the fourth ex-United player to sign for Everton under David Moyes, following Phil Neville, Tim Howard and Louis Saha. He had a massive impact in Merseyside and was hailed as the connecting link between attack and defence. His first two seasons was such that the club won 52% of the games he played in and only 25% of those he did not.

This upward surge was halted by a serious ACL injury he suffered whilst on International duty. As a result, he made just 1 appearance in the 2013-14 season. During his time out he was arrested for drunk driving. Gibson smashed his £125,000 sports car into 3 cyclists in broad daylight! He was banned from driving for 20 months and was asked to do community service for 12 months.

His contract expired by the time he recovered from the injury. Sunderland signed him on in the winter transfer market in 2017. He made 12 appearances trying to help the club avoid relegation. He is expected to play in the Championship in the upcoming season.

Despite his ups and downs, Gibson has always played an integral role for the Republic of Ireland. In 9 years he has made 27 appearances scoring 1 goal. He controversially opted to play for the Republic of Ireland instead of Northern Ireland for whom he was eligible by birth.

Darron Gibson remains a decent enough Premier League player and has done well to earn respect after his spell at United. He has not dived into oblivion like many ex-United youngsters and will remain in the minds of fans for quite some time.