Manchester United have been at less-than full strength during the recently completed pre-season tour of the United States. Anthony Martial is currently in France with his family, after his partner gave birth to their second child, whilst seven of Jose Mourinho’s first team options have been enjoying a delayed holiday after their exertions in the World Cup. Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Ashley Young are not due to report back to training prior to next week, but speaking after Tuesday night’s 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in Miami, the United manager had some good news about another clutch of players who spent their summer in Russia.
Mourinho, speaking to MUTV, said: “My players were amazing in their effort but we have more effort in front of us because in a few days we go to Munich and in 10 days we start the Premier League. We will have [Victor] Lindelof who started training two days ago, plus Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Romelu Lukaku because they gave to the group and to the team three days of their holidays so they are coming back three days early to try to be available for the team.”
This is certainly encouraging news for the United manager, given how his squad has looked so far this summer. Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure during pre-season, and repeatedly lamented the loss of those players who performed at the World Cup, but with Lukaku, Rashford, Jones and Lindelof all returning to the club for training ahead of the new season, the club’s squad looks in far ruder health as a result. Given that Mourinho has been favouring a 3-5-2 at points so far this summer, there’s a chance that Lindelof could feature against Leicester City a week on Friday, with Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez operating up front whilst Lukaku builds up his fitness. Either way, Mourinho now has options again, which will please him no end.