Home ยป Manchester United players not at the World Cup – what have they been doing?

Manchester United players not at the World Cup – what have they been doing?

by Leo Nieboer

The World Cup has not disappointed in the slightest, gripping the world with its controversy and colour and passion in ways nothing else can.

The likes of Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku have enjoyed superb starts to the World Cup, while David de Gea continues to struggle for Spain. Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic have all featured as well.

But what of the Manchester United players left at home? How have they taken missing out on the greatest party sport has to offer? As you may imagine, many have jetted off to distant lands, made themselves busy, doing anything to avoid being in front of the TV.

Anthony Martial

The Frenchman, who looks set to depart the club this summer, has returned to his homeland following what would have been five gloomy months in Manchester.

He was in good mood attending a family wedding, and spent some time in Paris with his partner before heading to Monaco to enjoy some sun.


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Luke Shaw

Shaw has been predictably hounded by the English press – and many supporters – for going on holiday. The defender remains on the periphery at Old Trafford, scalded by Mourinho back in March, and photos of him looking ever so slightly paunchy on a boat in Ibiza have only worsened his predicament.

That said, Shaw doesn’t seem too fussed – and nor should he be. The Sun have a funny way of infiltrating the public imagination with toxic thoughts, and body-shaming is an example. The Englishman would have been through enough of that to not care in the slightest.


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Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez is a reclusive individual, more than happy when accompanied by his family and dogs, and as such hasn’t told supporters where he is during his summer vacation. He went off to a truly idyllic beach setting – possibly the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean – straight after the FA Cup final.

More recently, however, he has been filming his dogs stepping off a private jet into the Atacama desert. And I have so, so much time for this. Give him the Balon d’Or now.


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Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian has returned back to his homeland, as he always does, and was recently at a development centre for youngsters.


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Andreas Pereira

As always, Pereira isn’t messing about with any holidays. He has a point to prove to Mourinho over pre-season, which kicks off in less than three weeks, after a successful loan move to Valencia.

You have to admire his work rate, posing video after video of himself pushing hard in the gym.


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Juan Mata

Mata is a pure soul, untouched by hedonism or conceit. He would give you his last chip willingly. He would deliver your child if your car broke down on route to the hospital.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that Mata’s summer has been dedicated to his inspiring project, Common Goal, which has grown magnificently since its inception last year.


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Eric Bailly

The defender disappeared into the backwaters towards the end of last season and has a point to prove to Mourinho when he returns to Carrington. And as a result he has been working hard on his fitness from home.

He also visited the Ivory Coast to be with family last month.


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Chris Smalling

Smalling likes a holiday, especially in south-east Asia, and spent some time with his partner in Vietnam mastering the language about as competently as he does when marking Vincent Kompany at a corner.

He then got married in Italy in what looked like a beautiful reception. Congrats, Mike!


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Ander Herrera

The Spaniard has not messed about this holiday, kicking it off with a visit to his hometown of Zaragoza before flying off for a few days of pure luxury in Dubai. He then went further afield to Tokyo, sampling the local cuisine, and recently went to Ibiza. On top of that he is currently enjoying some time in Croatia.


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