Following their exit from the Champions League last week, Manchester United will resume their quest to finish in the top four when they welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford on 2 April.
Following Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, United are now two places and four points behind the Gunners, who still have one game left. This means that United are no longer favorites to secure the final Champions League place and the pressure is rising.
But while several figures from the first-team squad have teamed up with their respective international teams for this current international break, a number of players have remained in Carrington to put in the hard work ahead of the Premier League season, which resumes in just over a week’s time. time. However, manager Ralf Rangnick is not in the country at the moment, having traveled to Barbados to enjoy cricket.
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Nevertheless, several first-team players, including Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, who were both left out of England’s squad for their friendly against Switzerland, Ivory Coast, have remained at Carrington. In addition, in the absence of several senior stars, a number of young people have come to first-team training.
With that in mind, MEN Sports have taken a closer look at four things we spotted from Tuesday’s training session in Carrington.
Stanley steps up
Right winger Connor Stanley took part in Tuesday’s training, highlighting that the door to first team has been opened for young people to train with the club’s most senior and talented players. Stanley, 20, has trained with the first team before, but has not been a regular guest on the senior fold.
He only played twice for U-23 this season, and his inclusion in the session came as a surprise. Nevertheless, giving him the experience will not hurt his development.
Considered a skilled winger, Stanley trained with the first team as far back as February 2020, suggesting he has not made the progress that might have been expected of him at the time. Nevertheless, he trained with people like Juan Mata and Sancho in the absence of more senior figures.
Despite not turning 18 until next month, right-back Marc Jurado has been a fixture for U-23 this season, underscoring how highly he is rated. He has played eight matches in Premier League 2 during this period.
In addition to impressing the U-23s, he has also excelled for the U18s and played a key role in their run-up to the FA Youth Cup final. He has played a total of 30 appearances across the youth academy this season and has often caught the eye of those who see him regularly.
The Spaniard, although he already has several candidates ahead of him and braces to jump, will look to make progress against the first team and right-back in the coming years. But while he remains young, United’s coaches must believe he has something on him so he can train with the first team.
He was pictured trying to get the ball away from Rashford in the session. Taking on the task of going up against any of his talents will not harm his development.
Young people galore
In addition to Stanley and Jurado being presented with training opportunities for first teams, many other youngsters were as well. It has not been unusual to see a cluster of them be involved throughout this season, but it is hard to remember that so many were included in one session.
In addition to the two aforementioned names, D’Mani Mellor, Charlie Wellens, Joe Hugill, Mateo Mejia, Noam Emeran, Bjorn Hardley, Rhys Bennett and Shola Shoretire were also involved. It is clear that United have used the absence of several senior figures to bleed several youngsters in the first team fold, even though it is only in training capacity.
Sancho and Wan-Bissaka all smile
Having both been left out of the recent English squad, it would have been easy for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Sancho to be hugely disappointed and walk around Carrington with disappointed looks on their faces. Instead, they both laughed from ear to ear when they came out on the training grounds on Tuesday.
Sancho’s omission from Gareth Southgate’s team was hugely surprising given how well he’s performed in recent weeks. He has scored two goals and grabbed three assists in his last six Premier League matches and has excelled.
Wan-Bissaka, on the other hand, could have received a late summons following the resignations of Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Instead, Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peter nodded.
Nevertheless, they both looked happy and determined to impress on the training ground on Tuesday. That response to such a disappointing blow should give Rangnick encouragement.
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