Manchester United are all set to commence their pre-season tour to Australia and Asia in a bid to best prepare for a campaign of redemption after last season’s underwhelming results.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been harping on about pre-season preparations for months now and it is evident that the gaffer has big plans for the illustrious giants.
The club announced their traveling squad for the tour and it did hold some surprise absentees and inclusions.
Both Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba are part of the squad despite speculations strongly linking them to an exit. United failed to make the much-hyped third signing in time for the departure so it will be interesting to see what this means for the remainder of their transfer plans.
As for omissions, it was Fred not being mentioned in the list that raised most eyebrows as the Brazilian was seen training at Carrington and had also made remarks about being eager to make a mark in the upcoming season.
Reports since have stated that both Fred and Matteo Darmian had been left out of the squad due to ‘family reasons’ and are slated to rejoin their teammates later on in the tour.
Darmian’s absence is certainly conspicuous given that the Italian has been linked to an exit for a long time now and is widely considered as a prime example of the ‘dead wood’ still at Old Trafford.
In typical United fashion, the list was also populated with youth academy graduates with the likes of Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and James Garner making the cut. Pre-seasons have been crucial in precipitating first-team ascents as the likes of Jesse Lingard are all too familiar with.
It will be interesting to see how the Red Devils will fare during this trip.
The full list is as follows-
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Grant, J Pereira, Romero
Defenders: Bailly, Dalot, Jones, Lindelof, Rojo, Shaw, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Wan-Bissaka, Young
Midfielders: Andreas, Chong, Garner, Gomes, James, Lingard, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Mata
Forwards: Greenwood, Lukaku, Martial, Rashford