Manchester United’s meeting with Kazakhstan champions Astana FC in the Europa League on Thursday presents Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a perfect chance to give some youngsters a chance to impress.
Moreover, with six key players injured, the Norwegian will be determined to give important players – such as Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire – a rest ahead of United’s trip to West Ham United on the weekend.
There have been a number of youngsters bashing on the door, and with United so far failing to avoid painful predictability in their play so far this season, perhaps an injection of genuine youthful exuberance is the most logical thing for Solskjaer to do.
With that in mind, here is how United could line up for their opening European game of the season.
Fred and Tahith Chong, for one thing, have earned their right to start this game after altering the feel of United’s 1-0 win over Leicester City, coming on when the hosts were dominant and reinjecting some thrust back into the team’s performance.
Axel Tuanzebe, moreover, must start getting opportunities, and while right-back is not his favoured position, Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs some protection having just come back from injury.
Needless to say, Mason Greenwood needs a go at No.9. Solskjaer has insisted that the youngster will get opportunities but no starts have come his way yet. United fans will be disappointed if that chance does not come on Thursday.