Ole expects young Reds to play their part
Manchester United have already fielded the youngest starting XI in the Premier League this season, and the side may be about to become even younger.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds will face Leicester City this weekend with a depleted squad due to injury. Full-backs Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot have been ruled out of Saturday's match against the Foxes, along with midfielder Paul Pogba, who had to withdraw from the France squad at the beginning of the break with an ankle problem.
In attack, Anthony Martial continues to be sidelined as he recovers from a thigh injury, but the boss is hopeful Jesse Lingard could play after illness led to him being sent home from his international commitments.
An absence of first-team regulars naturally means Ole will need to utilise his squad. When the boss spoke to the media on Friday morning, the Norwegian stated his belief that the club's up-and-coming youngsters, who have been on the fringes of the starting XI so far this term, are ready to be called upon.
“We have a squad of 24, 25 players and we expect them to play their part at certain times and different times in the season,” the manager said.
“This weekend might be one of those times.”
So far this season, Mason Greenwood has made four substitute appearances for the Reds, while fellow youth prospects Axel Tuanzebe and Tahith Chong have also been on the bench for all of those games.
Ole has proven so far in his United tenure that he is not afraid to summon players from the youth ranks on big occasions. In our famous Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain last season, the Reds finished the game with five Academy graduates on the pitch.
Of course, matches like these can often lead to young players making themselves a hero. Who could forget our 3-2 victory over Arsenal in 2016, when Marcus Rashford scored a brace on his Premier League debut, in a squad packed with youngsters.
Ole was quick to point out that whenever the Reds hand an opportunity to one of our prospects, they usually make the most of their life-changing opportunity.
“It's a good test, it's a great test and a great challenge for our players who want to push on. A few players are out, so the others can step up. Here's your chance. That's the thing here. The young kids do get chances and when they take them, it can be life-changing.”
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