There will likely be an additional incentive for Manchester United’s gamers on Sunday once they journey to Crystal Palace for his or her remaining recreation of the season.
A recreation that appeared to be passing underneath the radar, with the title and relegation to be determined elsewhere, has now assumed large significance for United’s gamers. New United boss Erik ten Hag will likely be in attendance at Selhurst Park, the first-time the 52-year-old will watch his gamers carry out reside since being confirmed as the brand new man in cost at Previous Trafford.
With the Champions League lengthy gone after a dismal run, the Palace recreation appeared little greater than a fixture obligation to be met by United’s gamers, earlier than drawing heading off for the summer season break and drawing a line underneath the membership’s worst season within the Premier League.
However with ten Hag and assistant Mitchell van der Gaag watching from the stands, United’s gamers know they’re all on trial and should impress their new boss forward of main summer season overhaul of the squad. Aside from David De Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo, who’ve each had excellent seasons, no United participant can think about themselves protected forward of ten Hag’s arrival, with the Dutch coach able to shake issues as much as get the ailing group again on observe.
Ten Hag has wasted no time in displaying his ruthless streak, with right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a much-heralded £50million arrival from Palace three years in the past, having been advised he can depart if the precise provide is made for him. Different gamers are prone to endure the identical destiny, together with striker Anthony Martial, who endured a dismal second half of the season on mortgage at Sevilla, and injury-plagued defender Phil Jones, who’s prone to transfer on after 11 years at United.
Defender Eric Bailly might additionally transfer on, whereas there are additionally doubts over the way forward for left-back Alex Telles. Of these gamers who’re set to remain, all of them are underneath stress to persuade ten Hag of their enduring price, none extra so than present captain Harry Maguire. Whether or not Maguire retains the captain’s armband underneath ten Hag stays to be seen, however an even bigger fear for the England defender is conserving his place, after interim boss Ralf Rangnick lastly did the precise factor and dropped him after a dismal run of kind that didn’t advantage his inclusion within the aspect.
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Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane should additionally present ten Hag their worth, and it’s telling that the previous Ajax boss has already instructed United to attempt to deliver younger centre-back Jurrien Timber from his former membership to Previous Trafford. In midfield, with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic leaving, there’ll must be a minimum of one new addition, however on Sunday Fred and Scott McTominay will get the possibility to indicate ten Hag they need to be a part of his United rebuild.
In assault, with ten Hag having expressed his want to work with Ronaldo, the United icon’s place is protected, however the identical can’t be stated for Marcus Rashford, who endured a wretched season and is low on confidence, whereas Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho should enhance on underwhelming campaigns. Ten Hag won’t be able to glean an excessive amount of from one recreation, but when ever United’s gamers wanted to placed on a formidable efficiency and finish a calamitous season on a excessive, Sunday is the day.