Manchester United vs Reading: Three youngsters who must start

by Leo Nieboer


Manchester United played their eighth game in less than four weeks against West Ham United earlier this week.

It was clear during the 2-0 win at the Olympic stadium that a seemingly endless glut of Premier League games – as well as an onslaught of Europa League games during November – was taking its toll on Jose Mourinho‘s men, with the last ten minutes occurring at almost walking pace.

An FA Cup third round tie with Reading this Saturday serves as a superb opportunity for Jose Mourinho to rest some key players and give several youngsters a chance to impress.

Axel Tuanzebe

Anybody who has seen Tuanzebe lead the line for Man United’s Under 21s will tell you that the 19-year-old was painfully unlucky to not receive a chance under Louis van Gaal last season. Jose Mourinho, who handed Tuanzebe a place in the side’s 25-man tour squad, singled out the defender for praise following United’s pre-season win over Wigan Athletic, and the game against Jaap Stam’s side serves as an ideal chance for the teenager to impose himself on the first team.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The Dutchman, who enjoyed a sensational opening campaign under van Gaal, has been a constant presence in the first team this season, but his only starts have come against Northampton Town and Zorya Luhansk. He deserves a chance to demonstrate why Mourinho handed him a new contract in October against an in-form Reading side.

Marcus Rashford

Rashford’s inclusion doesn’t really require much justification: he was an effervescent, game-changing force against West Ham, reminding the watching world of his ability to single-handedly write headlines for the first team after a lull on the bench throughout December. He could wreak havoc on the left hand side against Paul McShane.

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