Man United’s squad is still looking pretty jam-packed despite letting several faces leave on loan last month. Here are 3 guys who simply need the game-time vs Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Slowly but surely, Ralf Rangnick is becoming more familiar with this Manchester United squad. The German will now have a picture in his mind in regards to what his best starting line-up looks like.
However, so many games are played in the modern-day that a large squad is needed to combat fatigue. Cup matches against lower league opposition, particularly on the back of an international break, is the perfect chance to see what these rotation pieces can do.
Although Rangnick gets a great look at these lads in training day-in-day-out, there’s no truer acid test than a competitive football match.
With that in mind, we’ve drawn up a list of three fringe players who simply have to start against Middlesbrough tomorrow – and all for very different reasons.
First up, we have Hendo. This time twelve months ago, the Englishman looked like the prime candidate for the number one jersey. However, a David de Gea resurgence coupled with a serious bout of Covid-19 over the summer scuppered those plans.
I’m surprised Henderson didn’t join the long list of Reds leaving on loan, but Rangnick is a big admirer of the shot-stopper. That said, he’s yet to start a game under the German and frustrations are undoubtedly growing.
What better way to get him some minutes than this game at Old Trafford?
I’d like to start this one by stating I feel extremely sorry for Lingard. He’s been a fantastic servant to this club, while again, I’m surprised the Reds didn’t let him go on loan before sealing a permanent exit from United this coming summer.
His brother isn’t happy with the way United have treated him and honestly, I can’t blame the Lingard family for being deeply upset. At the end of the day, he’s spent two-decades here in Manchester. He deserves to be treated with respect.
With Anthony Martial leaving on loan and United losing another attacker (who shall not be mentioned for obvious reasons), Lingard could well be thrust into the first-team fold far more often. This would be an opportune moment to get the Englishman back on side for Rangnick – while also showing potential suitors what he can do ahead of a massive summer for Lingard on a personal level.
Alright, we know Jonesy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s human after all and he just wants to be playing football. The defender played extremely well when last called upon and he’s another who didn’t find a January move away on a short-term basis.
More than anything, this is about building up both match fitness and confidence. Jones has stayed off the treatment table for a few months now, which is his longest streak in years. Why not drip-feed him some more minutes here? As there’s probably never going to be a better opportunity for him to start a game in the 2021/22 campaign.
Are there any other fringe players who could do with the minutes? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.