April 20, 2021

Man Utd

News

Manchester United considering changes in attack and in goal vs Granada

4 min read

Marcus Rashford could start on the bench for Manchester United against Granada amid concerns he is unable to complete 90 minutes.

Rashford came off in the second-half of United’s Premier League win over Brighton on Sunday but has travelled with the squad to Spain for their Europa League quarter-final first leg.

Academy forward Anthony Elanga, 18, is set for his first matchday squad inclusion after he was named in the travelling party and Juan Mata and Alex Telles are also back.

Eric Bailly is still in the Ivory Coast after he tested positive for Covid-19 and Solskjaer reiterated he would be surprised if Anthony Martial plays again this season.

“I can’t disclose the team now, of course, we’re not going to do that,” Solskjaer said. “But Marcus is travelling, we’ve just got to make a decision tomorrow if he starts or if he is on the bench. I don’t think he’ll be a 90-minute man but let’s see where he’s at tomorrow.


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“I don’t pick players when we know there’s a risk. Of course, there’s always a risk when you step on to the pitch and when you play football. But if the physios and the medical advice is that it’s too much of a risk playing I will never ever play a player that, in advance, we know about if it’s going to make it worse or if it’s a serious one.

“Marcus joined in training this morning so let’s see how he reacts, if there’s any risk of making it worse I’m not going to overplay him.

“His back has recovered and he’s a tough one and he wants to play and he wants to give his all for Man United and it’s also a responsibility for the player to tell us, as he did on Sunday, he said it was too sore and he had to come off. “

Solskjaer refused to say whether David de Gea would be recalled after Dean Henderson kept his place for the visit of Brighton. De Gea has not played since February 28 as he missed four games due to paternity leave but has been available for the last three fixtures.

Henderson has started in all four of United’s Europa League ties this term and it is unclear whether he will continue ahead of De Gea.

“With the keepers, that’s the same, I’ve got two very, very good options and whoever plays will play well, I’m sure,” Solskjaer stressed. “I cannot prioritise the league, Europa League, every game here is the most important, the next one is the most important one.

“Every time I try to explain to players why they don’t play in this particular game and what they need to do, what my plans are for them, all those discussions remain private.

“David has been a top, top ‘keeper and is still a top, top ‘keeper and he’s working to be ready when he plays. If it’s Dean or David, I’m confident in them to play.



Henderson and De Gea warm up before the Brighton game
Henderson and De Gea warm up before the Brighton game

“When you’re a part of Man United, players are always going to come in, they don’t just come in to fill the bench or the squad, everyone’s got ambition to take your shirt.

“I was there myself as a striker. We signed Ruud, Diego Forlan, Louis Saha, loads of top strikers. Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham, the aim for me then is to prove to the manager [that] ‘I don’t mind you signing these players, but I’m still important and I’m going to give everything I can to play’.

“It’s the same at right-back, left-back, centre forward, goalkeeper. David has had 10 fantastic years at Man United, and he’s had challenges. Sergio [Romero] probably played less games than he deserved, Dean comes in and always gives it his all and his best. David does as well and it’s a healthy competition.

“The nature of football and the goalkeeper department are a very tight-knit group and work together in prep, they have different gym sessions, individual sessions, they stay together more and naturally they create a bond and the spirit in the goalkeeping department has been top.

“It’s a healthy competition. All of them want to play. That’s the same for Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop, Sergio Romero. They all want to play.”

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