Five things spotted in Man United training as Cristiano Ronaldo misses out

Manchester United have been lifted by Arsenal’s loss to Crystal Palace earlier this week which puts them back with a chance of securing that all-important fourth Champions League spot. It’s been a dismal season for United fans, but hope remains going into the last eight games of the season.

Arsenal’s defeat on Monday ensured the gap between themselves and Ralf Rangnick ‘s side remained at just three points. But with the Gunners having a game in hand plus Tottenham and West Ham keeping the pressure on, United must now look to win-out – or at least win the games against teams around or below them in order to have a chance at the fourth spot .

On Thursday, the Red Devils stepped up their preparations ahead of what can only be described as a must-win for United as they face relegation strugglers Everton at Goodison Park. United come into the game off the back of a disappointing result against Leicester City when Fred popped up with yet another important goal after Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener, before Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga got in a tangle late on to squander a golden opportunity to clinch all three points.

Read more: ‘Darren Fletcher asked me who the f**k I was’ – United fan breaks silence on row

Here are five things we spotted in United’s training pictures from today.

Not Cristiano Ronaldo

After returning to training yesterday, the Portuguese superstar sat out of on-the-grass activities and did not practice with the team.

It is not known if Ronaldo instead did any work in the gym, but Rangnick will be eager to have his top goalscorer back for this weekend’s game.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed United’s Player of the Month accolade for March and he was sorely missed in the draw with the Foxes.

Alejandro Garnacho has been called-up to the Argentina squad.

Alejandro Garnacho continues with first-team training

The highly-rated Argentine continued to train alongside the first team on Thursday after doing so yesterday. Towards the end of March, he received his first call-up to Lionel Scaloni’s side in what was a surprising development, having never figured for United’s first team.

Could Garnacho be given a spot on the bench this weekend?

As the number 75, he’d wear the highest jersey number in the club’s history.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka in good spirits

It’s been a tough few weeks for Wan-Bissaka. After losing his place from him, the 24-year-old is now firmly the back-up option to Diogo Dalot in Rangnick’s mind.

It could be the last we see of Wan-Bissaka in a United shirt this season, with right-backs being linked to the club this summer in what could be a hectic one for the Red Devils in the transfer window.

But today, he was pictured smiling and enjoying himself at Carrington.

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Manchester United fans have been critical of seeing United players joking and seemingly having a good time in training before going to a matchday and sulking – it’s been a common trend for certain fans to call out players for doing so in recent weeks.

But today, the majority of United players had smiles on their faces, with Bruno Fernandes, Alex Telles, Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata having a joke during a round drill.

Two-footed Elanga

Anthony Elanga is one of, well, all United strikers who have been criticized over the last few weeks for their poor finishing. In seemingly all of United’s recent poor results, they’ve created plenty of chances in front of goal – missing big chances.

At just 19 years old, Elanga has so much time and room to improve – it might be a few years until we become fully aware of the player he’s going to blossom in too.

Today, the Swedish international was pictured practicing his shooting with his weaker left foot, after missing a few chances from good positions in recent games.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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