Erik ten Hag stunned by Man Utd wonderkid that solves Harry Maguire problem

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Erik ten Hag stunned by Man Utd wonderkid that solves Harry Maguire problem

Saturday’s Premier League matchup between  Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers could feature Rhys Bennett.

Due to the impact of the World Cup, Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag faces a selection conundrum at centerback. Tuesday against Nottingham Forest, he was forced to start Luke Shaw in an unfamiliar position due to the absence of Lisandro Martinez.

The Argentine is expected to be available to play at Molineux, but Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof remain questionable due to an illness sweeping the United camp. Bennett, a 19-year-old defender, could therefore play on Saturday.

Bennett, who was born and raised in Manchester, is the under-18 club captain. He was United’s captain during their successful FA Youth Cup campaign last season, playing alongside Alejandro Garnarcho, and has made three appearances in the EFL Trophy this season.

Bennett was an unused substitute in the 3-0 victory over Forest at home and could play against Wolves if Maguire and Lindelof remain sidelined. If Ten Hag desires to ease Martinez back into the fold after his World Cup victory with Argentina, he could even start.

Playing Shaw at center-back once more is an alternative, but Bennett’s presence would enable the England international to return to his preferred position on the left side of the defense. Raphael Varane, who lost the World Cup final with France, will likely continue to play center back.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag’s confidence in Bennett was evident during United’s Thursday training session, when the youngster made a strong impression. Despite the return of Martinez, Varane, and others, the 19-year-old played the entire game and has not been demoted to the bench.

Bennett had the opportunity to make an impression on his boss during the World Cup break, and he appears confident in his new environment. United is renowned for giving young players opportunities, with Youth Cup champions having a greater chance of making the first team.

Bennett will be joining a team that won the Youth Cup in 2011 and featured Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, and Michael Keane – not bad company to be in. George Best, David Beckham, Gary Neville, and Bobby Charlton also managed win the competition with United.

Bennett will be eager to get a shot in the first team sooner rather than later. “Coming up through the ranks at United, it’s obviously a dream to play at Old Trafford,” he told United’s website. “It’s just an amazing feeling to step out on the pitch and give it our all.

“It’s an unbelievable experience. I can’t take it for granted. You don’t know how many times you’re going to step out at Old Trafford. Every single time you do, you’ve got to just embrace it, go and give your all and hopefully keep working hard to play as many games at Old Trafford as possible. I love it every time I step out.”

Bennett will make Molinuex feel like Old Trafford if he is given the opportunity to play against Wolves. With Martinez available, his chances of starting are slim, but he could still play a role on Saturday. In his pre-game press conference, Ten Hag acknowledged, “We need impact from the bench.”

Erik ten Hag stunned by Man Utd wonderkid that solves Harry Maguire problem

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