Manchester United might have thrashed arch-rivals Liverpool 4-0 in their opening pre-season game, but as Erik ten Hag pointed out, there were numerous defensive errors.
United remain close to securing the signature of Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez but it looks unlikely that the player will join in time for the Australia leg of United’s tour.
And with reports of Axel Tuanzebe leaving the tour because of personal reasons, it means the Red Devils are one short in terms of defensive numbers.
Ten Hag has decided to ask young Will Fish to join up with the rest of the tour group in Melbourne as they prepare to take on A-League side Melbourne Victory on Friday.
#mufc have decided to fly 19-year-old Will Fish out to Melbourne for the second leg of the tour as cover in the position so Telles does not have to play as a makeshift centre-half again. [@TelegraphDucker]
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) July 13, 2022
According to The Daily Telegraph, The 19-year-old’s arrival will ensure Ten Hag does not need to utilize Telles as a makeshift centre-half again. He was far from impressive in Bangkok.
He will hope to earn some minutes against the weakest of United’s pre-season opposition. Fish was also part of the pre-season group last term with then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking him along after being impressed with his showings for United’s age group sides.
Axel on his way out?
“Axel Tuanzebe returned to Manchester on Wednesday from the tour to deal with a small personal issue.” was how Telegraph summed the situation with the United academy graduate.
Tuanzebe did not feature against Liverpool in the opening match and has been absent from recent training sessions due to a small niggle. He is expected to leave with Turkish club Trabzonspor and Bournemouth interested in securing his services.
Regular minutes are what the 24-year-old needs, especially on the back of last season’s disastrous loan spells at Aston Villa and Napoli.
And Tuanzebe’s loss can turn out to be Fish’s gain. He recently signed a long-term deal that will keep him at United until at least June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year.
The Mancunian’s strengths include his physical prowess and leadership qualities. This can be evidenced by the fact that he has captained England up to the U-19 level.
Fish spent last season on loan at Stockport County in the National League. Even though he made only five senior appearances, the experience of the move certainly benefited the youngster. That was even pointed out by Nick Cox, United’s Head of Academy.