Erik ten Hag welcomes four Man Utd youngsters to first-team training as injuries stack up

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Erik ten Hag welcomes four Man Utd youngsters to first-team training as injuries stack up

Erik ten Hag has taken steps to ease the mounting injury concerns at Manchester United by including four young players in the first-team training session prior to their match against Southampton on Sunday.

The team is currently facing a number of injuries, particularly in the midfield position.

Key players such as Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen are still unavailable due to long-term injuries, while Marcel Sabitzer is uncertain to play due to a recent injury. Although Anthony Martial has resumed training, he may not be ready to play in the upcoming game.

In an effort to expand his options, Ten Hag has included several talented young players in the team’s training sessions. This season, players like Kobbie Mainoo and Zidane Iqbal have already established themselves as regular members of the first team, and now, several academy players have also been invited to join them.

Pictures from the Carrington training ground show that Sam Murray, Omari Forson, Marc Jurado, and Dan Gore have all participated in the sessions and may be considered for selection in the upcoming game. Murray, a right-back who joined the team in 2021, played a crucial role in the under-18s’ run to the FA Youth Cup final in 2022.

Forson and Gore are both midfielders who have come up through the ranks at Old Trafford and are regulars in the Premier League 2. Jurado, a Spanish under-19 international, has scored three goals from his position at right-back so far this season.

Ten Hag has consistently expressed admiration for the efforts being made in the Manchester United academy and has encouraged academy graduates to aim for a place in the first team in the near future.

Speaking a couple of months into his tenure, the Dutchman said: “They [Man United] give a lot of attention that they pay to the Academy and to teach players and build players, young players [to get them] into the first team.

“And I think, with those players, you can develop a culture, a certain style of play because you have them long in your building. So it’s really important for every club but not every club has it – but Manchester United has it and I think it is of big value.”

He added: “There is a good development from the youngsters. They have to close the gap and they have to contribute to the squad and contribute to our results, but they have to deserve to be in the training and deserve the chance and the opportunities here at Old Trafford.”

Manchester United currently boasts several former academy players who are playing significant roles in the first team, such as Scott McTominay, Anthony Elanga, and Teden Mengi. Among them, forward Marcus Rashford has been the most successful this season.

At 25 years old, Rashford is having the most productive season of his career, having scored 25 goals in all competitions leading up to Sunday’s match against Southampton.

Erik ten Hag welcomes four Man Utd youngsters to first-team training as injuries stack up

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