Manchester United have received a potentially significant fitness boost ahead of their opening Premier League encounter against Leeds United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges kickstart their new campaign with a fiery fixture at home to fierce rivals Leeds United in today’s early kick-off. The Red Devils will be hoping to put in a solid performance and show their title-winning credentials in a tricky fixture, but they’ll be without several first-team players for the visit of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.
Marcus Rashford is out until October after having surgery on his shoulder, while Jesse Lingard and Dean Hendersen are ruled out with Covid-19. Solskjaer also revealed Raphael Varane’s transfer from Real Madrid hasn’t been finalised in time for him to play any part this afternoon.
“He hasn’t trained with us. Things take time,” he said in yesterday’s press conference. “Not 100 per cent done yet. He won’t be involved because he has not trained with us. The big hold up was the quarantine and the isolation – it will be done soon.”
The Norwegian tactician also revealed experienced striker Edinson Cavani will be unavailable after an extended break due to personal reasons.
“Edi (Cavani) is in the country, (but) he’s just finishing off his isolation period. He’s had a little bit of extra time for personal reasons,” he said.
However, Solskjaer did provide a positive update on the availability of United’s £73m summer signing Jadon Sancho. The former Borussia Dortmund winger only began training with his new teammates this week due to illness but could feature from the off against Leeds.
“Jadon is going to be involved definitely. Good week, but was ill after his holiday. He has looked sharper than expected. Can’t tell you if he is going to start, though.”
It’s hoped that the arrival of Sancho will elevate the 20-time English champions back to their previous heights, reeling in their noisy neighbours in the process.
Picking up three points on the opening day would be a perfect day to their title tilt, and Solskjaer and the fanbase alike will be expecting exactly that.
Therefore, the United boss will be delighted at Sancho’s availability, and he’ll be hoping the England international can inspire the Red Devils to victory.