Manchester United are currently caught in the midst of an injury crisis ahead of their clash with Southampton on Sunday and Erik ten Hag has attempted to ease the pressure by promoting a couple of Red Devils’ starlets.
Erik ten Hag has attempted to alleviate a growing injury crisis at Manchester United by inviting four youngsters into first-team training ahead of Sunday’s clash with Southampton.
The Red Devils currently have a clutch of first-team starts restricted to the sidelines ahead of the weekend’s clash at Old Trafford. Midfield has been hit most severely.
Long-term absentees Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are both still out, whilst loanee Marcel Sabitzer is also a doubt having picked up a knock. French striker Anthony Martial has returned to training but Sunday’s game might come too soon for him to return.
A number of the Red Devils’ most promising young players have been invited to take part in training as Ten Hag bolsters his options. The likes of Kobbie Mainoo and Zidane Iqbal have already been regular fixtures among the first team this season and have been joined by a number of academy colleagues.
Sam Murray, Omari Forson, Marc Jurado and Dan Gore were all pictured getting involved at Carrington and could all be in contention for a place in the squad this weekend. Murray, an 18-year-old right-back, joined the Red Devils in 2021 and played a huge role as the club’s under-18s reached the 2022 FA Youth Cup final.
Forson and Gore are both midfielders who have progressed through the youth system at Old Trafford and regularly play in the Premier League 2. Meanwhile, Jurado is a Spanish under-19 international and has scored three goals from right-back this term.
Ten Hag has regularly praised the work going on within the Man United academy and laid down a challenge to graduates to challenge the first-team in the near future. Speaking a couple of months into his tenure, the Dutchman said: “They [Man United] give a lot of attention that they pay to the Academy and to teach players and build players, young players [to get them] into the first team.
“And I think, with those players, you can develop a culture, a certain style of play because you have them long in your building. So it’s really important for every club but not every club has it – but Manchester United has it and I think it is of big value.”
He added: “There is a good development from the youngsters. They have to close the gap and they have to contribute to the squad and contribute to our results, but they have to deserve to be in the training and deserve the chance and the opportunities here at Old Trafford.”
The Red Devils currently have a number of former academy stars playing a full role in the first-team including Scott McTominay, Anthony Elanga and Teden Mengi. The most successful this season has certainly been forward Marcus Rashford.
The 25-year-old is currently in the midst of the most prolific season of his career with 25 goals to his name in all competitions ahead of Sunday’s clash with Southampton.