The season might just have ended but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already being given food for thought as he plans ahead for the next campaign.
Manchester United know their upcoming pre-season preparations might well be affected by the extended involvement of certain individuals at the European Championship this summer, with Solskjaer well aware of the importance squad depth could play next season.
This summer United will need to strike a fine balance as they look to trim the fat on a bloated squad in favour of new recruits, while also ensuring there is a healthy amount of genuine competition for places in the starting line up.
On Wednesday night Solskjaer was sent another timely reminder about the roles which Daniel James and Jesse Lingard could both play for the club going forward; as the pair impressed while representing their respective nations in international friendlies.
West Ham target Lingard tasted victory as England overcame Austria at the Riverside stadium, with the returning loanee heavily involved in Bukayo Saka’s goal to secure victory.
After a stellar second half of the season in London there is no doubting the obvious talents of academy product Lingard, but finding a way to use him effectively still remains a mystery. It is credit to him that he doesn’t want to settle for a minimal role next season, yet with transfer interest high Solskjaer knows he will likely need to cash in on a very effective attacking option.
In his place James could prosper. He tasted defeat against a very strong France side, with Wales’ efforts done no favours by a bizarre refereeing decision to send Neco Williams off in the first-half despite both sides protesting that he should be allowed to stay on the pitch.
The Welsh winger impressed in Nice as he featured in a range of attacking roles for Robert Page’s side. An early opening on the left saw him burst through the French defence before being thwarted by Hugo Lloris, while a notable second-half surge down the right also ended with a low effort at the Tottenham goalkeeper.
James, 23, is another player who is likely to attract further Premier League interest this summer, but even given his often lacklustre end product he remains a vital member of the first-team under Solskjaer. His hard work and raw pace have earned him glowing reviews from the manager with his dribbling abilities still a key component of any match in which a counter-attacking style is favoured.
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Yet the main issue for United is that James is still a far bigger threat when playing on the left wing, a position which is currently occupied by both Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
The former Swansea speed merchant clearly has something unique to offer to the side, but the harsh reality is that it will likely never be as a regular starter unless considerable improvement in the final third is shown.
Elsewhere there was another positive as Dylan Levitt came on for half an hour of action against arguably the best midfield in international football, further evidence of the faith coaches have in him despite a difficult season away from the club on loan.
The only other United interest came in Portugal where Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay were both unused substitutes in a 2-2 draw between the Netherlands and Scotland.