Manchester United fans don’t have long to wait for the resumption of club football.
The Reds will face Wayne Rooney’s Derby County this weekend, July the 18th, for the first game of pre-season, and manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised that several Academy players will be involved.
Many of United’s first-team regulars will be absent due to their involvement in the Euros or Copa America and so fans will have an opportunity to see some of the club’s talented youngsters tested against decent opposition.
The international absentees will filter back as the pre-season moves on and come early August, Solskjaer and United plan to send more of the youth on loan.
It’s expected that the young Uruguayan winger, Facundo Pellistri, will also have another loan stint too.
He himself has expressed interest in returning to Alavés in Spain, having enjoyed half a season there earlier this year, though that is yet to be resolved.
Full-back Reece Devine has also moved out on loan, to St Johnstone in Scotland.
Having formerly managed United’s reserve side in the years before Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Solskjaer has a strong connection with the young players at the club, respects the tradition of bringing through youth, and how important it is for them to experience the levels above Academy football.
Speaking to ManUtd.com he said:
“Some of the players have just started their holiday, so we know it’s a depleted squad, but it gives the young kids a taste of what it is like to have a proper pre-season with top professionals like Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata in the first team, Lee Grant, Tom Heaton is back.
“They’ve done it so many times. Mason [Greenwood], Aaron [Wan-Bissaka], Axel [Tuanzebe] are first-team players who will bring these boys along and it’s a good opportunity for them.”
The hope is to also see either or both of Zidane Iqbal and Isak Hansen-Aaroen involved in midfield roles. Sunday’s team-sheet for kick-off at 3pm will be interesting.