Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been troubled by injury this season along with the club having many problems to beat their opposition. Out of the eight matches played already this season, United has won four times, once on penalties, losing twice and drawing twice. It has not
Heading into the first match against Arsenal in the Premier League, which will be played at Old Trafford on Monday evening, Solskjaer could be without up to seven players; two of them being Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah-Mensah, who are both recovering from knee injuries. With the squad already a bit thin, this is going to add to Solskjaer’s problems.
Paul Pogba is a doubt to face Arsenal after making his return in the penalty victory over Rochdale on Wednesday evening in the Carabao Cup, he received a knock to his ankle, which according to Solskjaer was swollen after the match. Phil Jones was withdrawn from the game due to injury, which is common with him in his time at the club.
Anthony Martial is unlikely to play club football before the next international break which come after the Newcastle United away match a week on Sunday and Luke Shaw is getting closer to being ready for action once again, which might come against Arsenal and it might not. Marcus Rashford has a chance to play before the international break.
Speaking during the manager’s press conference on Friday morning ahead of the visit of Arsenal, Solskjaer gave he verdict on the players who are injured, negating Bailly and Fosu-Mensah as both are unlikely to return to action before we head into winter, which is more likely for the pair. When asked about injuries, the United manager said:
“Any injuries? There might be one or two who have not really come back. Paul [Pogba] was really struggling with his ankle as it was really swollen, so let’s see how that repairs. He got 90 minutes but was sore towards the end again.
“Phil [Jones] will be out until after the international break and, do you know, you have to count these after every game but I think that’s it.
“I don’t think we’ll see Anthony [Martial] before the international break. No, I don’t think so. Luke is improving so, hopefully, we’ll see him.”
Against Rochdale on Wednesday, Solskjaer gave youth a chance. Axel Tuanzebe captained the team which was good to see and he put in a good performance, which will keep him in mind for the match against Arsenal on Monday. Tahith Chong played for an hour, although he was not in great form and Brandon Williams made his debut in the second half.
The clubs talented youth will need to be utilised to ensure Solskjaer and his team get though this injury crisis. He will know this but so far has used the youth sparingly. Daniel James, a £15 million summer signing from Swansea City has done well this season, scoring three goals for the club in the seven appearances he has made this season.
The likes of Diogo Dalot, Angel Gomes, James Garner, Williams, Chong and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who scored goals against Astana in the Europa League last week and Rochdale on Wednesday. These players cannot do much worse than the current players who have experience in the squad. Perhaps now is the time for the youth to be trusted.