With most big names missing in action due to the ongoing World Cup, Manchester United’s Spain friendlies were expected to provide Erik ten Hag with the opportunity to see his reserve bench and academy graduates in action.
But with the EFL Cup tie scheduled so close to the to the World Cup final, the EFL Cup clash against Burnley might require the reserve bench to step up if needed.
A few positions have gained extra significance due to certain United stars heading deeper into the World Cup. And the Dutchman kept on those players for longer against Real Betis.
United’s second friendly also ended in defeat, this time a 0-1 loss at the hands of the sixth-placed side in La Liga at the Benito Villamarín on Saturday.
Dalot’s injury opens up RB spot for Burnley clash
One position that has become crucial for the United boss is the right back spot. During Portugal’s loss at the hands of Morocco, Diogo Dalot had to be substituted due to a possible hamstring injury.
There has been no update on the severity but in case it turns out to be bad, the Red Devils will need back-up. Hence, Ten Hag gave Aaron Wan-Bissaka 80 minutes to try and find his rhythm.
Beaten on the night but more important minutes gained 🔋#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2022
Unfortunately, the 25-year-old was once again very poor, and failed to get forward and was clumsy with the ball. Coming back from injury, rustiness was expected but poor performance levels were not.
At one point in the second-half, the former Crystal Palace defender had the chance to cut the ball back into the penalty box where a couple of United youngsters were waiting.
His awkwardness with the ball meant he fired across a wild cross which irritated his manager, who was seen berating the full-back from the touchline.
AWB fails audition
He was soon removed and it was curious to see the manager not even shaking his hand while he did a pat Zidane Iqbal on his back when taken off at the same time.
The former Ajax boss has played Tyrell Malacia in that position before but it had proved difficult due to his unfamiliarity with the position.
Wan-Bissaka had the chance to impress and maybe to extend his United career, but it seems unlikely it will last longer than January.