Mon. Mar 8th, 2021

Man Utd

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Amad and Shola Shoretire could be about to do what Pogba did at Man United

3 min read

Two debuts?

Clubs are allowed up to five substitutions in European competition and United are likely to have Shola Shoretire and Amad on their bench, at the very least, in Turin.

Shoretire, 17, committed to the club last week by signing his first professional contract and Amad is one of United’s most exciting signings since Paul Pogba’s 2016 homecoming. Facundo Pellistri was an unused substitute in two of the Champions League group stage games and was particularly unfortunate not to emerge in the 4-1 home thrashing of Istanbul Basaksehir.

United have used the Europa League to blood youngsters since their maiden participation in its current form, back in 2012. Paul Pogba made his European bow against Athletic Bilbao, the world was introduced to Marcus Rashford in the Europa League in 2016 and seven youngsters made their club bows at Astana last term.

Obscure academy graduates Donald Love, Joe Riley, Regan Poole also received European exposure in the Europa League under Louis van Gaal.

Greenwood back in?

Solskjaer’s prickly comments over the last week or so have coincided with United’s loss of form and there was another barb in the press release announcing Mason Greenwood’s new contract.

He said: “Whilst it is easy for people outside of the club to forget that Mason is just 19, it is our job as coaches to ensure he reaches his phenomenal potential and every step we take is to help him along that path.”

Solskjaer excused the peculiar removal of Greenwood against West Ham last week because United were ‘managing’ his playing time, only he then did not play him from the start at West Brom. He has to tonight, especially with Edinson Cavani absent.

Goalkeeping rotation?

Solskjaer all but confirmed David de Gea would be recalled at West Brom with his curious comment that Dean Henderson ‘might have taken his eye off the ball a little bit’ in one flashpoint against West Ham.

If Solskjaer was referring to Craig Dawson’s headed chance, then he was not as candid in censuring De Gea for staying on his line at The Hawthorns. Solskjaer is looking for excuses not to drop De Gea and nobody is expecting the Spaniard to sit out the weekend visit of Newcastle, with Henderson due to start in Turin.


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Defensive changes?

Harvey Neville arrived at Carrington at the same time as the United first-team on Wednesday and, for a split-second, one wondered whether he was on the cusp of a first-team promotion.

United are at the risk of overplaying Aaron Wan-Bissaka, devoid of specialist cover at right-back, and Neville has enjoyed a mini resurgence playing there at Under-23 level. But no, Neville trained with the U23s.

Real Sociedad are no pushovers, so Solskjaer will have to manage his rotation carefully. Brandon Williams, moved from left to right, has started three times this season and two came in September.

More changes?

Alex Telles and Nemanja Matic might hope to start but United cannot be too frivolous with their team selection. They have not won a trophy for nearly four years, their title ‘challenge’ is all but over before it began and Sociedad are fifth in La Liga.

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