Seven Manchester United players could secure pre-season tour places this week – Richard Fay


It is set to be a busy week at Manchester United as their summer plans heat up ahead of Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge of the club.

Monday marks the official start date of United’s pre-season schedule, with the first batch of players arriving back at Carrington to work under the new man in charge.

Ten Hag won’t have much time with his new players before they fly out to Thailand next week ahead of the first match of the club’s summer tour, and there is a hope that they might also have Frenkie de Jong to parade by the time they department

READMORE: Erik ten Hag arrives for Manchester United’s first day of pre-season

However, with United’s internationals granted extra time off following their national team commitments earlier this month, Ten Hag will cast his eyes over a number of fringe players this week, all of whom are still fighting for a place in the pre-season squad.

MEN Sport takes a look at seven players who could be named in United’s traveling squad on July 8 if they manage to print this week.

Aaron Wan Bissaka

United have already offered Aaron Wan-Bissaka to clubs this summer and are looking to sign a new right-back, but if no suitor comes forward, they might be stuck with the 24-year-old heading into the new season.

It makes little sense for United to take any player on tour if they are viewed as surplus to requirements, and the former Crystal Palace man certainly fits into that category.

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But that doesn’t mean he has given up hope yet. Wan-Bissaka has been written off as a United player and is not in Ten Hag’s immediate plans, though if he manages to impress him with his work ethic and attitude this week, he could force an unlikely rethink from the new manager.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is likely to leave Manchester United this summer.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is likely to leave Manchester United this summer.

Ethan Laird

If Wan-Bissaka isn’t taken on the tour, then they’ll need a replacement full-back in his place, and youngster Ethan Laird could well be the beneficiary.

The 20-year-old experienced a mixed season out on loan, shining at Swansea in the first-half of the campaign before struggling for game time when he switched to Bournemouth midway through.

Laird is likely to leave on loan again this summer, but it is understood Ten Hag will cast an eye over him first before sanctioning a deal. Given United’s lack of depth at full-back, he might get a chance on tour, even if his immediate future is not with the club.

Eric Bailey

As stated earlier, United have no need to take players on tour who are viewed as surplus to requirements, which could have a telling impact in regards to central defence.

Ten Hag is keen to add another centre-back to his squad this summer but has been told any new recruits would rely on first shifting the peripheral figures already at the club.

Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe could be sold if appropriate offers come in, but the dilemma is what to do with them in the meantime. Leaving them out of the squad would be a firm indication of United’s stance, while playing them would put them in the shop window for any possible suitors.

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Manchester United need to try and offload Phil Jones (left) and Eric Bailly this summer.
Manchester United need to try and offload Phil Jones (left) and Eric Bailly this summer.

Alvaro Fernandez

A key task for Ten Hag this summer will be rejuvenating the underperforming stars from last season, with Luke Shaw one of those who needs a significant improvement.

Having genuine competition from Alex Telles appeared to bring the best out of the England international two years ago, though neither left-back managed to find form over the last campaign.

Alvaro Fernandez is yet to make his senior debut, and with two senior options ahead of him, he faces a tough test to do so, but if he manages to impress Ten Hag first-hand, then a chance this summer could be on the cards .

Matej Kovar

With fellow goalkeeper Dean Henderson poised to complete his move to Nottingham Forest this week, United will need to bolster their pool of shot-stoppers ahead of the pre-season tour.

United are keen on a deal for Watford back-up Daniel Bachmann but if he is not signed before the summer trip, then it might fall upon a couple of youngsters to make up the numbers.

Matej Kovar, 22, is expected to leave on loan next season but could travel this summer, while Ondrej Mastny, 20, is another hoping to catch the eye of the new manager.

Matej Kovar, Tom Heaton, Dean Henderson and Nathan Bishop

Tahith Chong

United triggered the option of an additional year in Tahith Chong’s contract in April, but he is still expected to embark on another loan exit this summer.

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However, with Ten Hag still keen to sign a new right-sided forward, the Dutch youth international could be given an unlikely chance to impress his compatriot in the coming days.

Chong doesn’t look like he has a long-term future at the club right now, but he could change that perception if he takes any opportunity afforded to him this summer.

Anthony Martial

In an ideal world, Anthony Martial would be sold by United this summer. The problem is, nobody is exactly interested in signing him after a disastrous loan spell with Sevilla.

Ten Hag accepts he may have to utilize Martial in some capacity if the France international is marooned at Old Trafford and a source told the MEN “nobody is breaking the door down” to sign the 26-year-old.

It means Martial could be given another chance by the Dutchman, and if he shows the right attitude this week, then a place on the pre-season tour will be his reward.

Anthony Martial struggled to have any sort of impact in Seville.
Anthony Martial struggled to have any sort of impact in Seville



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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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