ERIK TEN HAG will face major selection problems at Manchester United when club football returns after the international break.
United’s options could be drastically limited when they take the field against Brighton on Saturday before a Champions League away game at Bayern Munich the following Wednesday.
Man Utd released a statement today confirming that Antony would not be returning to the club “until further notice” following allegations of abuse made against him by three women.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Jadon Sancho will hold showdown talks with Ten Hag to sort out his future following his public outburst following the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal.
With United expected to be short-handed on the wing, Ten Hag will have to rack his brains to come up with a new plan.
One path he could take is young Facundo Pellistri.
The 21-year-old remained at Old Trafford in the summer amid interest in a loan move and could now be given the opportunity to secure a place in the starting XI.
In an interview with MUTV in March, Ten Hag said that Pellistri deserved first-team minutes.
And with United now lacking as much wing power, the Uruguayan has the chance to stake a strong claim on the spot in the long term.
Fellow youngster Amad Diallo could also provide competition for the spot following his comeback from injury, although the 21-year-old’s return from knee surgery is still some way off.
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Alternatively, Alejandro Garnacho could be used there.
19-year-old Garnacho was inches away from scoring the winner against Arsenal after coming on as a substitute before his late strike was ruled offside.
But given that he played on the right side at times last season, even though it made him significantly less effective than on the left side, he could get another chance to prove he can play on the right side.
A third option for Ten Hag could be to move club captain Bruno Fernandes or even Mason Mount to the touchline while increasing the team’s midfield dynamic.
Both Fernandes and Mount have played on the wing in their respective careers, with Fernandes having a particularly influential time in that role last season.
The 29-year-old is most creative in the middle of the pitch, but to gain more control of games and strengthen a struggling midfield, Ten Hag could bring players like Sofyan Amrabat into play.
Amrabat, signed on deadline day, is seen as the player who can solve a number of Unitd’s midfield problems but suffered an injury scare after withdrawing from the Moroccan national team.
Mount could be back from injury after the international break, while Kobbie Mainoo is also tipped for a return later this month.
The starting eleven could also be optimized in other areas, such as having Spurs loanee Sergio Reguilon replace Dalot at left-back.
Anthony Martial can also come in up front in place of Rasmus Hojlund, whose minutes United want to manage carefully.
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