Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.

Young Reds in Ole's squad for Selhurst Park

Tuesday 26 February 2019 12:14

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says three Manchester United youngsters could be given a chance to shine under the Selhurst Park floodlights on Wednesday night.

An injury crisis has suddenly gripped the squad ahead of the midweek Premier League match against Crystal Palace, yet our caretaker manager is viewing it as an opportunity to blood some talent from the club's Academy ranks.

While other football bosses may be nervous of throwing young players into the mix at this stage of the season, Ole knows he can rely on the quality of prospects in the Under-23s and Under-18s.
Three Academy kids could face Palace Video

Three Academy kids could face Palace

Ole has dropped a major hint that Angel Gomes, Jimmy Garner and Tahith Chong may all be in the squad on Wednesday...

The likes of Jimmy Garner, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong are set to be in the squad that travels to the London fixture and Ole is looking forward to seeing the younger players express themselves on a bigger stage.

“Yeah, the kids are joining in today [in training], so they'll be involved in the squad,” said Ole, at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday morning.

“They've been part of our training for a long time now.

"Angel [Gomes], he’s been successful with England's Under-17s, with [Jadon] Sancho, [Callum] Hudson-Odoi and [Phil] Foden, so he's been a big part of that," he added, referring to three well-known young players from Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

“I’m definitely sure that if Angel gets a chance he'll do well.”

Gomes has already faced Palace in the Premier League - he was one of a number of Academy players who made their debuts in the 2-0 win against the Eagles on the final day of the 2016/17 season.

The attacker also featured for Ole earlier this campaign, when he was introduced as late substitute against Huddersfield Town during our 3-1 Boxing Day victory.

Solskjaer gave Chong his first-team debut in a 2-0 FA Cup win against Reading last month, while Garner was selected among the substitutes, so the Norwegian knows the quality the duo possess.
Garner and Chong in pre-season training, with Fulham loanee Tim Fosu-Mensah in the background.
“Jimmy Garner, he's a Michael Carrick, but 20 years younger, so I'm sure he'll do well and Chongy, he'll definitely be taking people on if he comes on, but they're ready, these kids.

“It's hard when you're a defender coming on, if you're 16 or 17, but as an attacker you just go out there and express yourself and there's your chance. They can win you the game, you don't lose it for you.”

Should the trio need an example of how important youth-team players are to the United senior squad, they need only look to Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

Five of the 14 players who featured for the Reds last weekend had progressed from the Academy into the first team and Ole singled out Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira for praise after their performances against Liverpool.

“Scott and Andy, I thought they did fantastic,” the boss said. “So there you go, that's the way it is. You've just got to be ready when you get the chance.”
McTominay earned Solskjaer's praise after replacing the injured Nemanja Matic against Liverpool.

Our hosts Crystal Palace head into Wednesday’s game in good from. Roy Hodgson's men have not lost any of their last six games in all competitions and last time out, the Eagles disposed of Leicester City with an emphatic 4-1 scoreline.

“They are very, very good and, of course, the game against Leicester, that win was impressive,” said Ole.

“The way Roy sets up his teams, we know that we have to be good on the ball, we have to break them down. And we know that on the counter attack, with [Wilfried] Zaha, [Andros] Townsend, if it's [Michy] Batshuayi, [Christian] Benteke, whoever it is up front, they've got some pace and counter-attacking threat, so we've got to be at our best.”

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