Erik ten Hag: More new signings vital to Manchester United
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Manchester United’s new Premier League season will get underway when they lock horns with Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday. Though they played Rayo Vallecano last weekend, the match with Atletico Madrid 24 hours previously included more first-team players. So, with that being the case, Express Sport will now take a look at the four changes the Red Devils could make for their starting XI.
Shaw in, Malacia out
United made Tyrell Malacia their first signing of the Ten Hag era, gazumping Lyon to bring the left-back to Old Trafford.
However, given he’s still young, it’s possible the Red Devils will go with Luke Shaw instead.
Shaw has been injured of late but is now back in training ahead of the match with Graham Potter’s side.
Last season, like many of his team-mates, the England international regressed as the club toiled under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But if United can get Shaw back to the level he was operating on two years ago, there’s every chance he’ll nail down the left-back slot for the rest of the campaign.
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Lindelof out, Martinez in
Ten Hag has been impressed by Victor Lindelof’s form during pre-season.
But we suspect Lisandro Martinez may get the nod to play alongside Harry Maguire, despite being early into his Old Trafford career.
Martinez is a warrior Ten Hag knows all about, having managed the Argentina international at Ajax and winning two Eredivisie titles together.
So that means he could be unleashed in the Premier League right from the very start.
United also have Raphael Varane as a contender to partner skipper Harry Maguire, but the France international’s injury woes means he can’t be expected to start right away.
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McTominay out, Eriksen in
Christian Eriksen started the match against Atletico on the bench.
But the Denmark international made an instant impact upon being introduced, creating more chances than any player on the pitch during an exciting 20-minute cameo.
With United set to play more on the front foot this term, Scott McTominay could find himself on the bench.
Fred may operate at the base of the Red Devils’ midfield, like he’s done under previous bosses Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.
And Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes could then be deployed together playing further ahead, with the duo set to create chances for the club’s forwards to finish.
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Martial out, Sancho in
Jadon Sancho missed United’s match with Atletico due to illness.
And though Cristiano Ronaldo is back in training, his cameo against Vallecano last weekend suggests he’s not yet ready to start matches having missed pre-season.
Therefore, Sancho could come in for Anthony Martial – who is injured for the game with Brighton.
Sancho would go on the right, with Anthony Elanga then deployed on the left.
And that means Marcus Rashford starting in the No 9 role, something he did regularly during Louis van Gaal’s spell in the dugout.
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Ten Hag speaks before Brighton
Speaking ahead of his team’s clash with Brighton, Ten Hag revealed Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez are in the frame to start the match.
“I think they are fit enough to start,” he said.
Ten Hag was then asked about Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal international featured for United against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, but lasted just 45 minutes before being hooked.
And Ten Hag said: “I am really happy he is here. We have a top striker.”
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