5 Things Noticed In Man Utd Training As Erik ten Hag Appointment Set To Be Finalised.
- Rangnick remained in charge for this week’s training, though, as United aim to get their top four pursuit back on track against Everton on Sunday.
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EKO HOT BLOG reports that Manchester United’s players were spotted back in training as the club moves closer to confirming Erik ten Hag as permanent manager ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Manchester United are due to return to Premier League action against Everton on Saturday, and three points will be a must as they aim to keep their top four hopes alive
The Ajax boss had emerged as the clear favourite for the United job after interviewing for the position in March. While others had remained in contention, not least former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, Ten Hag has entered “advanced” contract talks with the club and is expected to join once the interim reign of Ralf Rangnick comes to an end.
Rangnick remained in charge for this week’s training, though, as United aim to get their top four pursuit back on track against Everton on Sunday.
Blow are few things EKO HOT BLOG noticed in Manchester United training session, which comes at a crucial time for the Red Devils’ present and future.
1. Rangnick trying to help his successor
It will be important for Ralf Rangnick to avoid the distractions which have been looming lately. The discussion over United’s next manager has been a long and complicated one, but a resolution is as close as it has ever been.
When Rangnick was appointed, the move was made with a view to the German helping his permanent successor settle in. Part of that process is likely to have included a top four finish, though, and this is going to be a big ask.
With Arsenal and Tottenham both holding a significant advantage over United in the race for fourth, they could find themselves bracing for a season under a high-profile new manager but without Champions League football. All Rangnick can do right now is get things moving in the right direction on the training ground and put the team in position to deliver on the pitch.
2. Ronaldo’s return
Cristiano Ronaldo missed Manchester United’s last game through illness, and the dropped points against Leicester City in his absence could prove significant. He’s back now, though, and United may well need his goals at Goodison Park.
The veteran has been urged to leave Old Trafford after his return hasn’t gone entirely according to plan. However, the club’s record without him this season will worry plenty around the club, not just for the upcoming game but for the rest of the season and beyond.
Ronaldo issued an update on Instagram after missing the Leicester game, giving fans hope that he would be fully recovered in time to face Everton. His presence in training will only strengthen that feeling.
3. Rashford’s chance to rebound
“That’s killed Marcus Rashford today, not playing in that team,” Gary Neville said on Monday Night Football after the England forward was left out of the starting line-up on Saturday. Despite Ronaldo’s absence, Rangnick began with Rashford on the bench, with the 24-year-old playing just 35 minutes from the bench.
“I know he’s been poor, I know he’s lacked confidence but for Cristiano Ronaldo to pull out this morning and for Paul Pogba to go in and change the system of play and the way in which the game has been approached and not just put Marcus Rashford in as a striker as a straight swap having trained with the players the last 10 days,” Neville said. “Overall, there are too many things at this club that are uncertain.”
It was another blow for the England international after his omission from Gareth Southgate’s last squad. However, he has responded the only way he knows how, making his case in training and hoping he is rewarded with a start on Saturday.
4. Lingard involved after Rooney comments
Jesse Lingard has struggled for minutes this season, and is expected to leave Old Trafford when his contract expires in the summer. However, former United star Wayne Rooney has suggested such a move would be too hasty.
“I think Jesse Lingard should be playing for them because he brings energy, brings quality,” Rooney said on Monday Night Football. The England international was an unused sub against Leicester, though, and the club has done little to show him he’ll benefit from staying in Manchester.
Lingard played less than 30 minutes of first team football in March, and has just 199 league minutes under his belt all season. United may feel they need to make drastic changes this weekend, though, so might he get a run-out?
5. A chance for the youngsters
Rangnick hasn’t been afraid to call on youth since taking over midway through the season. The most prominent example has been Anthony Elanga, with the Swede given plenty of chances, but he’s not the only one.
Hannibal has joined up with the first team this season, stepping up from the under-23s, and has also established himself as a full Tunisia international. He was an unused substitute in the recent Manchester Derby, but is yet to feature in the league this season.
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There have also been reports of Alejandro Garnacho linking up with the seniors. The teenager recently earned his first ever senior call-up for Argentina, and will hope he’s closer to a matchday squad after playing most of his football for the under-23s this term.
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