Manchester United have surprisingly added a fixture with Wigan Athletic to kick-off the 2016/17 pre-season.
Jose Mourinho‘s men will travel to the DW Stadium on July 16 and kick-off is at 13.30PM. It will be shown live on MUTV.
The announcement comes as a surprise because we head off to China the following week but it gives Mourinho a chance to see his players in action before he announces the squad which will travel to China. That could mean players earn their place on the plane or conversely find themselves left out of the team as a consequence.
It means Man United fans will more than likely get to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly make their debut earlier than expected. We could also see Henrikh Mkhitaryan if a deal for him is pushed through quickly enough.
Speaking about the game, Mourinho said: “The first game against Wigan is very important as I am going to have some players I don’t know very well who I am bringing into the first team. I don’t know them well but I just trust Nicky Butt [Head of Academy] and John Murtough [Head of Football Development] and the youth structure’s judgement.
“Obviously I am going to work closely with them and I’m going to have to trust them when they say we have a few players who, in a couple of years, can be first-team players. It’s important to know them and give them the opportunity to work.”
By the sounds of it, there could be plenty of youngsters involved in the match as well in order to give Mourinho a full understanding of his squad. That is good news for the likes of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson who will both want to keep their place in the first-team squad.
We’ll be covering the Wigan game in full on The Peoples Person and United Peoples TV.