Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his players to return to training next month in time for the resumption of the current football season which has been on hold for the better part of the last two weeks.
Football was suspended across all competitions at home and abroad as a result of the Coronavirus which has taken a lot of lives.
The United Kingdom were not left out of the Coronavirus pandemonium.
The Premier League had to postpone the remaining matches for this season after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the dreaded Coronavirus shortly before the Gunners’ away game at Brighton and Hove Albion scheduled for the Amex Stadium earlier this month.
Premier League matches were initially suspended until the fourth of April before another meeting of the 20 top flight clubs took place last week. At the end of that meeting, league games were postponed till April 30 at the earliest.
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Solskjaer and his Manchester United players had continued their normal training until last week when the second suspension of matches was confirmed by the Premier League. The Manchester United players were given different training regimes before they were sent home.
Manchester United players won’t resume training until April 10 which is some 20 days before the Premier League resumes. Solskjaer met with his assistants to map out the training regimes for the players before the AON training complex was shut last week.
Manchester United assistant managers Mike Phelan, Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick all met with Solskjaer to discuss the way forward for training.
By the time the team returns for training, star player Paul Pogba is expected to have fully recovered from the ankle surgery he had at the start of January to deal with an ankle problem. The Frenchman would be hoping to prove his fitness upon the club’s return to training.
Transfer Ratings: Jesse Lingard To Arsenal
Jesse Lingard was delighted to take the break from football on account of the Coronavirus. He was going through his worst season after breaking into the first team at Old Trafford. The forced time off is a perfect opportunity to reflect on his performances and start a clean slate when football returns.
The United Academy graduate Lingard performed badly earlier this season until the Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was filmed hurling insults at him during a Carabao Cup clash in January.
Solskjaer blew off at Lingard during the Carabao Cup semifinal second leg clash with Manchester City after the player repeatedly lost possession to the opponents. Lingard played around an hour of the game, and Manchester United won 1-0 which was insufficient to take them to the finals, having lost the first leg at home (1-3).
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Jesse Lingard changed his agent to renowned Italian SuperAgent, Mino Raiola, increasing the rumours of a possible transfer from Old Trafford. The outburst from his manager further heightened those transfer reports. His long-term future at the Theatre of Dreams is far from certain despite the break from football as he continues to be linked with other clubs.
In the past weeks, Lingard has been the subject of transfer interests with clubs like Italian Serie A giants AC Milan, and the Premier League duo of Arsenal and Leicester City.
The rumours have intensified in the past few days due to the close relationship between his agent Mino Raiola and Arsenal chief executive Raul Sanllehi. A lot of Arsenal fans will argue that Jesse Lingard is the last attacker the club needs right now with several players in that position at the moment.
Transfer Ratings for Jesse Lingard to Arsenal: 2/10
EPL: Why Spurs Star Harry Kane Would Be A Perfect Signing For Man United
Manchester United have been linked with an ambitious swoop for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane this summer during the past weeks of little or no football caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Red Devils are expected to spend big on players ahead of next season with the hope of making an assault on the Premier League title alongside the likes of Liverpool and noisy neighbours Manchester City. Spurs striker Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho are the two big names on the Manchester United shortlist for this summer if reports in the British tabloids are to be believed.
Manchester United have been known admirers of Harry Kane while Mauricio Pochettino was the Spurs boss and many would argue that they have an even more difficult chance of prising the player away from his North London club with Jose Mourinho as the Tottenham Hotspur manager. Mourinho was unceremoniously sacked as the Red Devils boss at the end of 2018 and the last thing he would want is to lose his star player to a direct rival.
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Manchester United will also have to contend with the bargaining power of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in the event that the player attempts to force a transfer to Old Trafford, a scenario that’s highly unlikely. Harry Kane won’t be signed on a cheap certainly and a world-record fee of over £200m would be required for his transfer if the England international star were to move from Spurs to Manchester United. Here are the reasons why the player would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford:
1. Goals – Harry Kane would be a regular source of goals if he can overcome his hamstring woes of recent seasons.
2. Longevity – The English striker is still relatively young at 25 meaning that he has at least a decade to go before hanging up his boots.
3. Premier League experience – His experience of English top flight is also a big boost for the Red Devils.
EPL: Is It Time To Sell This Man United Defender?
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was widely applauded after he played a prominent role to help the club fend off Arsenal in the race to sign English defender Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers in 2011. Manchester United had to part ways with £16m to sign the then young prospect ahead of rivals Arsenal and their manager Arsene Wenger.
It is safe to say that Phil Jones has not matched the same tenacity shown by the Red Devils off the pitch with his performances on the pitch. Phil Jones was expected to be a part of a formidable centre back partnership with Chris Smalling for both club (Manchester United) and country (England) for many years to come but that has not happened with the two players facing respective bleak futures at Old Trafford.
Chris Smalling was a £10m signing from Fulham in 2010 and he had to leave Manchester United for Italian side AS Roma on loan at the start of the season to accommodate the signing of Harry Maguire in the Red Devils defence. Smalling is on course to make his loan move to Italy permanent with Roma keen to sign him on a long-term deal after his impressive loan spell at the club.
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Phil Jones would be best advised to follow in the footsteps of former club and national team colleague Chris Smalling as he tries to revive his career which has stagnated at Manchester United. The 28-year-old has been linked with a lot of English clubs over the last two transfer windows and this summer could be the perfect time for him to finally leave the Red Devils.
Southampton and Leicester City are some of the Premier League teams previously touted as a possible destination for Phil Jones who has 27 caps for England. He has scored two goals in 256 league games at Manchester United.
For now, he’s behind Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe in the centre back pecking order at his club and more central defenders might be signed in the summer.
Top Three Clubs For Unwanted Manchester United Player This Summer
Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has seen his playing minutes decrease at the club this season after the England international failed to repay the fate shown in him by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
His best form under Solskjaer came in the opening weeks of the Norwegian manager’s reign at Old Trafford which started in December. Since then, the Manchester United Academy graduate has passed up chance after chance to show that he merits a regular spot in the starting XI.
Jesse Lingard played majorly as the attacker behind the central striker under Solskjaer this season and had to contend with Andreas Pereira for that spot until the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.
Manchester United paid £47m for the aforementioned Bruno Fernandes and it could rise to £68m based on add-ons and bonuses. The Portuguese international has made the role of the attacker behind the sole striker his own since his signing in the January winter transfer window.
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Lingard has not only lost his place in the Manchester United starting XI though his future at the Theatre of Dreams is also up in the air after leaving manager Solskjaer frustrated with his lack of productivity in recent weeks and months.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been heavily criticised for his lack of emotions on the sidelines and it was a big surprise for many fans when he lashed out at Lingard for losing possession on several occasions during the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg clash with Manchester City.
Jesse Lingard won’t be short of suitors if Manchester United decide to sell him in the summer especially after he changed his agent to the renowned Mino Raiola. Here are the top three clubs for him:
1. AC Milan – The seven-time champions are the favourites to sign Jesse Lingard this summer due to his affiliation with Jesse Lingard.
2. Leicester City – The former Premier League champions have also been linked with the England international.
3. Lyon – The French giants are one of the clubs interested in him.
Will Pogba Leave Man United This Summer
One of the biggest questions that Manchester United will have to answer whenever football escapes from the claws of Coronavirus is the future of star player Paul Pogba at the club.
For now, French midfielder Paul Pogba and Manchester United have been forced to stay at home because of the aforementioned Coronavirus which has left virtually all sporting events useless in the past weeks.
The Premier League had to suspend the season as a result of Coronavirus and whether it is completed or not, the future of Pogba at Manchester United is expected to be at the front pages of British media outlets in the coming weeks.
Paul Pogba has two years left on his present deal with the Old Trafford side including the one year from the extra year clause in the contract signed by him when he returned to English football some four years ago in a then world-record deal. He left Italian champions Juventus for Manchester United for £89m in the summer of 2016 after spending four fruitful years in Turin.
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Pogba has not been able to reproduce his sparkling Juventus form for Manchester United though it must be pointed out that the Manchester United Academy player has flattered deceive on several occasions.
He spoke about his desire to leave Manchester United last summer and the challenge for the Red Devils would be to retain his services at the club since the task of replacing him could even be harder than keeping him happy at the club. After his admission last summer, Manchester United still managed to hang on to him but that has not been productive due to an ankle issue that has reduced him to just eight matches in all competitions this season.
Pogba is not short of suitors if he wants to leave the Red Devils with former club Juventus and Real Madrid interested in him.
Is It Time Up For De Gea At Manchester United
It is very difficult to argue against the case of Spanish international shot-stopper David De Gea being the best player of the last decade at Manchester United and this is testament to his form over the last eight to ten years.
David De Gea has set high standards for himself in the past years and this has come back to haunt him mainly due to his questionable performances in the Manchester United goal over the past 12 to 18 months.
His questionable form has led to calls for him to leave Manchester United for greener pastures but the big question is whether the Red Devils will be able to cope with his exit.
Some years back, David De Gea was at the peak of his powers and also came close to joining Real Madrid in the Spanish league if not for a fax machine. During that period, he was the best goalkeeper in the world alongside Bayern Munich shot-stopper Manuel Neuer but the Spaniard can’t lay claim to that title again after his drop in form.
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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, Liverpool shot-stopper Alisson Becker and Barcelona goalie Marc Andre Ter Stegen are few of the goalkeepers that have surpassed him in the rankings of the best goalkeepers in European and world football.
To put his drop in form into context, No Premier League goalkeeper has made more errors leading to a goal than David De Gea since the start of last season. His drop in form started after his long-term future at Manchester United was secured at the start of last season.
A lot of the Manchester United Faithfuls are happy to try out other options in goal other than David De Gea with the likes of Sergio Romero and Dean Henderson regarded as good options.
Sergio Romero is an experienced Argentine international and he’s the second choice goalkeeper at Manchester United. He has kept 10 clean sheets from the last 13 games in the Red Devils’ goal.
On his part, Dean Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United and he has been one of the top three goalies in the Premier League this season.
EPL: £400,000 Weekly! Will Odion Ighalo Accept Offer OR Opt For Man United Stay
Manchester United striker Odion Jude Ighalo has been very vocal about the chance to play for a big club like the Old Trafford outfit on the back of his transfer in January.
Ighalo supported Manchester United as a boy but his opportunity to turn out for the club of his dreams didn’t come until the final years of his career as a player.
He was signed by Manchester United on loan in the January transfer window as a cover for the injured Marcus Rashford who suffered a long-term back injury as a second half substitute during the FA Cup third round replay with fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Marcus Rashford was the leading goalscorer at Manchester United until that chronic back problem struck. The Three Lions of England international scored 19 goals in all competitions until that point.
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Odion Ighalo was signed as a temporary replacement for the injury stricken Rashford and he has been able to live up to expectations or even surpass it. A lot of Manchester United fans were surprised wirh the move for the Nigerian striker on the final day of the 2020 January winter transfer market and they didn’t expect much from him but the former Watford attacker has been able to answer those critics in his first few games for the Red Devils.
Ighalo was in sensational form for Manchester United in all competitions before the season was called off temporarily.
He has scored four goals in three starts and five substitute appearances. No other player has more goals for the Red Devils in that period.
His loyalty to Manchester United will be tested in the coming weeks and months after his parent club Shanghai Shenshua offered him weekly wages of £400,000 for him to sign a two-year contract extension. He has to decide whether he will sign a new contract with the aforementioned Chinese Super League outfit or opt for a permanent transfer to Manchester United.
Why Manchester United Must Retain Odion Ighalo
Ex-Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo deserves to join Manchester United permanently at the end of his loan spell at the club and only a sadist would deny him that chance.
Ighalo has been very vocal about his love and affection for Manchester United since his shock loan move in the January transfer window.
The 30-year-old surprised a lot of people by leaving Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua to join boyhood club Manchester United on loan for the rest of this season. He had supported the Red Devils while he was growing up in his native Nigeria and the striker found it difficult to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime.
His dream was to play for Manchester United and the injury to leading goalscorer Marcus Rashford facilitated that move for him as the Red Devils tried to sign attacking cover for the injured England international before settling for Odion Ighalo.
Several Manchester United fans were disappointed with the move for Ighalo but the former Watford striker has been able to prove doubters wrong with his form for his new team. He scored four goals in just eight appearances in all competitions before the season was suspended due to Coronavirus.
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Ighalo was handed just three starts and he scored in each of those games to further highlight his efficiency in front of goal since joining Manchester United. It would almost be an injustice towards Ighalo if he doesn’t get the chance to sign for the Red Devils permanently though this would depend on his club who has already offered him a two-year contract extension worth £400,000 weekly.
Ighalo has to be rewarded with a permanent Manchester United contract based on his scorecard since joining on loan on the last day of the January 2020 transfer window.
Three Reasons why he must sign are as follows:
1. Form – He has four goals in three starts for the Premier League giants.
2. Experience – The Nigerian striker is the most experienced attacker at Manchester United.
3. Passion – Ighalo has been able to transform his passion for the Manchester United badge into performances on the pitch.