Manchester United’s squad for this summer’s pre-season tour of the United States is looking a little bare in comparison with recent seasons. This is almost exclusively down to the World Cup, with semi-finalists Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard only starting their summer break these last few days, and Paul Pogba, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy on Sunday with France still basking in glory of his country’s triumph.
None of these players are expected to be fit and available for United’s Premier League opener at home to Leicester City on Friday 10th August, which is hardly excellent news for Jose Mourinho given that four of these players would be expected to help to form his typical starting XI. The manager has spoken of given his players three full weeks to recover and decompress from this summer’s tournament, which means that most will still be building up their fitness by the time Leicester visit. Alexis Sanchez’s recent issues with being granted access to the US have hardly helped, with United working on getting the Chilean player a visa after he was denied entry to the country for a previous tax charge.
At least the Manchester Evening News have some good news, with Nemanja Matic and David de Gea expected to join up with the squad soon. The former was eliminated with Serbia in the group stages in Russia, whilst De Gea was part of the Spanish side that was dumped out on penalties by the host country in the last 16. United’s no.1 was heavily criticised for his performances in this World Cup, and will likely be glad to return to a less critical and scrutinised environment. Matic, who turned into one of Mourinho’s most trusted players during the last campaign, likely won’t be rushed back into action, but his presence will surely be of use to his manager.