Manchester United is set to face Wigan on January 8th, providing Erik ten Hag with the opportunity to grant some players their inaugural start of the season.
With the FA Cup on the horizon, several players in the Manchester United squad are eyeing this as their chance to showcase their talent.
Given the impressive performances of numerous academy players at Carrington, confronting a League One side in the cup presents an ideal moment to introduce some fresh faces.
The ongoing injury crisis plaguing Erik ten Hag’s squad further strengthens the case for offering playing time to potential talents.
Viewing the match as a chance to afford regular players extended rest, especially with a sparse January schedule, becomes a viable strategy.
Here are three players we would like to see earn their first start in the upcoming game at the DW Stadium:
1. Altay Bayindir:
– The goalkeeper, signed in the summer from Fenerbahce, is yet to make his first start with Andre Onana ahead of him.
– With Onana heading to AFCON in January, Bayindir has a golden opportunity to showcase his skills and give Ten Hag a selection dilemma.
– Having returned to the bench against Nottingham Forest, Amad is ready for the next step – a starting role.
– With Antony’s inconsistent performances, Amad can stake a claim for regular playing time if given the chance.
3. Isak Hansen-Aaroen:
– Norway’s talented Isak Hansen-Aaroen showcased his abilities during pre-season and is a promising figure in the youth ranks.
– With a stellar performance in the UEFA Youth League, he could be the ideal candidate to fill Bruno Fernandes’ spot in midfield.
4. Dan Gore:
– Likeliest of the three to start, Gore has already featured competitively this season, impressing in a League Cup cameo against Crystal Palace.
– Capable of slotting into either of the two pivot positions, Gore deserves his starting opportunity.
5. Joe Hugill:
– The striker, who scored against Leeds in pre-season, is on the verge of a first-team appearance, especially with Anthony Martial out of favor.
– Making the bench three times in the last month, Hugill could make his mark in the FA Cup clash against Wigan, or else a loan move might be on the horizon.