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Zidane Iqbal set for Manchester United stay

Ten Hag wants him to be part of first team squad this season

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Erik ten Hag’s next assignment as the new Manchester United manager includes dividing his squad into two parts for the pre-season friendlies against Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday and Rayo Vallecano just a day later at Old Trafford.

The timing of the matches has meant that the Dutchman has decided to take his strongest 18 to Norway while the rest will remain back in Manchester.

In four matches so far, Ten Hag has opted to give quite a few youngsters a shot at making the first team squad for the season ahead and Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal have certainly taken their chance.

And now the Daily Mail have reported that Iqbal is set to remain with United for the upcoming season instead of going out on loan as the Dutch boss wants to help him develop further.

That will come as great news for the 19-year-old who has really come on by leaps and bounds over the last 12 months. The Times had reported that Ten Hag was set for a meeting with Darren Fletcher to decide on what to do with promising academy graduates.

Iqbal was handed his United debut by Ralf Rangnick in the Champions League while he also represented the Iraq national team in their World Cup qualifiers against Iran and Lebanon.

Zidane Iqbal the next superstar

The academy product has shown willingness to adapt to his manager’s demands and has often been deployed in a more withdrawn role during pre-season.

Known for his ability to play in a more advanced role, the first South Asian player to represent the Red Devils has managed to impress his coach as well as the fans with his flamboyance and ability to remain calm under pressure.

One of his finest moments on tour came in the first game against Liverpool when he managed to hold his own against the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita in the second half.

His Cruyff turn in United’s second game was another highlight. Iqbal is highly-rated at United and has already signed a new long-term contract with the club.

His off-field demeanor while on tour has also impressed the club and with Ten Hag’s guidance, the Mancunian can really shine this season.

Fans will hope he can carry on in the same vein and keep his feet firmly planted on the ground as he progresses. Iqbal certainly has the talent to become the next big thing at United.
 

 

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