Manchester United players are enjoying themselves in the Dubai sun as they earn some much needed time to reboot following a hectic December period.
Jose Mourinho noted ahead of the trip that he wanted to see injured players fully recover while the squad tweaks particular tactical aspects of their game.
But as Juan Mata noted, this time in the Middle East is about more than just that. After a gruelling month, players now have the chance to bond, recalibrate, and engender a sense of harmony that hallmarked the positive start to their season and started to dwindle over the last month or so.
They have been making use of the pristine facilities at their disposal, with Chris Smalling, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, who clearly didn’t like the 10 metre drop, practicing their diving skills ahead of the second part of the season.
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) January 10, 2018
— Ashley Young (@youngy18) January 9, 2018
Fun in the sun ???? pic.twitter.com/wOCY7qyz8a
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) January 9, 2018
David de Gea, Juan Mata, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo appeared to leave Matteo Darmian behind on a buggy ride, providing a fitting metaphor for how his Old Trafford career is likely to pan out in 2018.
And Jesse Lingard, whose goal against Derby County ensured that United could travel to Dubai, has been engaging with the local fanbase.
Best day of my life guys.. thank you so much for signing my shirt.. @ManUtd @youngy18 @LukeShaw23 @BlindDaley @MarcusRashford @JesseLingard @FullTimeDEVILS @MrStephenHowson @AdamMcKola @RFFH @leo_nieboer pic.twitter.com/D3557YydNX
— Pritesh Mistry (@mistrypritesh) January 9, 2018
Mourinho’s men will return to Carrington over the weekend to put in final preparations for their clash with Stoke City next Monday. Supporters will hope that this warm-weather break gives them a boost in team morale and chemistry that was seen following their successful tour of the United States over the summer.