Louis van Gaal says returning Manchester United players need match rhythm

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal has insisted that the Manchester United players returning from injury need “match rhythm” before they can play in the first team.

The likes of Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia are all set to return from injury in the coming weeks following lengthy layoffs.

Van Gaal often has his players play for the U21s to prove their fitness before a first team return and the Dutchman suggested that the trio will have to do exactly that.

“They are coming back, but normally they cannot play a match because the rhythm of the game is much higher,” van Gaal said.

“So, we have to train more and let them play in the second team. Maybe because I’m forced because of the circumstances to take a risk, like I have done with Marcos Rojo, but when I’m not forced to then I shall not do that.”

United haven’t exactly missed the three players as the likes of Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marcus Rashford and Guillermo Varela have all made the step up in recent weeks.

As a result, van Gaal won’t be in a huge rush to get the trio back and making them play in the U21s is the sensible option. Jones, in particular, can ill afford to get injured again as he bids to prove his long-term fitness.

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