United made it three wins out of three today in their preseason tour of Oceania and Asia. After a couple of wins against Perth Glory (2-0) and Leeds United (4-0) in Australia, Solskjaer’s men impressively defeated Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan 1-0. The score did not reflect the quality of play and domination that United showed against the Italians.
The Mancunian outfit looked the better throughout the game, whether it was in the first sixty minutes where Martial, Rashford, Wan-Bissaka and Pogba imposed themselves on the game or in the later stages when multiple changes introduced Greenwood, Chong and Mata.
As Solskjaer has now promised, young players would get their chances and the latter are proving they are here to give the Norwegian a selection head-ache. Let’s take a look at the youngsters impressing on tour.
The right-back is already showing why United splashed the cash to secure him from Crystal Palace. Not only was he solid defensively, he also surged forward when needed to help the attack and provided a couple of very dangerous crosses which United’s forwards unfortunately failed to convert.
A remarkable part of the game for the Man of the Match winner was when the ball was lost on his right hand side and an Inter player was running at full pace towards United’s goal on the flank. Wan-Bissaka ran at his heels with all he got and demonstrated his blistering pace and exciting tackling ability.
Spending a lot on the right player can certainly pay off. As a comparison, City signed one of their ex-players Angelino, also a full-back, after a fantastic season in the Netherlands, for a much smaller sum and he has failed to impress on tour so far.
After doing well on loan at Aston Villa last year, Tuanzebe came back home to Old Trafford, having won the play-offs and brought Villa back in the Premier League.
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Solskjaer spoke of how excited he was to have Tuanzebe join the squad. The young Englishman has not disappointed. Rock solid alongside Lindelof and then Jones, he is staking a claim to a first team spot for the upcoming season. I would not be surprised if Tuanzebe replaced one of United’s center back options, with Marcos Rojo the one most likely to go.
Just like Tuanzebe, Greenwood seems ready to play for the first team. He already enjoyed a taste of first team football last year, having been involved in the elimination of PSG in France when the first team was decimated by injuries and suspensions. He was the best player in the last EPL game against Cardiff.
Solskjaer has mentioned on tour that Greenwood, at only 17 years of age, is in contention to start the first EPL game against Chelsea.
A hard working, humble, fast player and amazing finisher, Greenwood can play on the right, which has been a problematic position for Manchester United. He can also play as center forward or striker and could very well replace Lukaku, should the latter move to Inter Milan.
Ironically, Greenwood’s goal came against Inter Milan today, a brilliant finish in a tight space which would have Solskjaer himself proud.
Last but not least, winger Tahith Chong demonstrated his dribbling abilities against Leeds United and Inter Milan. He won a penalty against Leeds, converted by Anthony Martial. Today, he made Inter’s defence look silly with his dribbles. More than once he eliminated a player with his flicks.
Skriniar was so annoyed by Chong he rashly fouled the youngster at the end of the game and Chong had to be withdrawn for another promising academy player Angel Gomes.
Chong, Garner, Henderson, Joel Pereira and Gomes look like they could use a loan move elsewhere for a year before getting a stab at integrating the United first team squad. With United playing in Europa league though, it might not be a bad idea to have Chong stick around for the first half of the season at least to play against weaker opposition in Europe and the League Cup.
Greenwood and Tuanzebe are ready to graduate from the academy. With McTominay, Rashford, Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Pogba, they will add to United’s notable list of players who were developed in their own academy.
Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka and Anthony Martial are not from the academy but were all recruited young and have the potential to develop into world beaters. Martial has certainly shown he can be a world class player many times before, provided he can find consistency.
Exciting times ahead for Manchester United!
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