Manchester United is facing a challenging period as injuries and off-field issues continue to plague the squad. Manager Erik ten Hag recently provided an injury update on four key players ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Burnley, scheduled for Saturday, September 24.
The Red Devils have been grappling with various setbacks, which have left their squad stretched thin. Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Mason Mount, and new signing Sofyan Amrabat are all dealing with injuries or match fitness issues.
In a pre-match press conference leading up to the Burnley encounter, Ten Hag shed light on the status of these players, stating (via Manchester Evening News):
“As you say, Harry Maguire but we will see again after training. But Varane will train, we will see, Amrabat will train, we will see and Mount as well. But they didn’t play for short or longer-term. Varane, obviously, was the shortest out.”
Varane has been sidelined since Manchester United’s 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest on August 26. Mason Mount, who joined the Red Devils from Chelsea during the summer transfer window, has had limited playing time with just two appearances.
Sofyan Amrabat, another summer signing from Fiorentina on loan with an option to buy, is yet to make his debut for the club. Meanwhile, Harry Maguire’s absence was felt during their recent UEFA Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
In addition to these four players, Manchester United is also dealing with the unavailability of Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Antony is suspended due to allegations of harassment, and Jadon Sancho remains out of the squad due to a public dispute with Ten Hag.
The Red Devils have experienced a disappointing start to the 2023-24 season, suffering four defeats in six games across various competitions. Despite being one of the most dominant English teams historically, Manchester United currently finds itself in 13th place in the Premier League table, putting immense pressure on everyone associated with the club.
When asked if he is surprised by the intensity of this pressure, especially considering his second season at Old Trafford, manager Erik ten Hag responded (via MEN):
“No. It’s my second year. I know it’s not always going up; you will have your gaps, and you get stronger from it as long as you stay together. That’s what we’re doing. In the dressing room, staff, all the staff, coaches, medical, everyone is united, and at United, you fight.”
Ten Hag had led Manchester United to a third-place finish, an FA Cup final, and a Carabao Cup victory last season. However, he faces the challenge of turning the team’s fortunes around swiftly in the current campaign to replicate or exceed those achievements.