Sevilla have confirmed that Jesus Navas will not recover in time to face Manchester United for the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie next week.
Navas, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester City, featured at right back in Sevilla and played an important role in some of his side’s best moments going forward.
The tie is evenly poised at 0-0, with Man United needing to avoid a score draw or defeat to reach the quarter-finals.
A club statement has confirmed that Navas will not be part of Vincenzo Montella’s side at Old Trafford next Tuesday.
“Jesus Navas will not arrive in time for Tuesday’s Champions League match in Manchester,” the statement read.
“The squad player was injured on 25 February in the game against Atletico Madrid and has been working alone with the idea of returning to time for the match against Valencia CF and especially to be played at Old Trafford.
“However, the evolution in the last 48 hours has not been as expected and as reported by the medical services of the club , the tests performed reflect that the player suffers a small injury to his right calf. The return of the player will depend, therefore, on this evolution.”
Navas may be 32 but, in similar fashion to Antonio Valencia, has an important role when it comes to bringing his side up the pitch with his natural speed across the turf, and the visitors will no doubt manifest less of a ferocious attacking threat without him.
In his place will most likely be Miguel Layun, who only has five Sevilla appearances to his name and doesn’t bring the same level of zip as Navas. Mourinho would be wise to pit the raw speed of Anthony Martial, along with the impetus of Paul Pogba down the left channel, up against the Mexican as United go in search of early goals at Old Trafford.