Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Players out to Prove to Jose They Can Be Part of His Future

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Players out to Prove to Jose They Can Be Part of His Future

Article excerpt

FOR those United supporters eager to watch Jose Mourinho's Reds but unable to afford a visa to China, never mind flights and hotels, the quick commute to Wigan for Saturday's opening friendly of pre- season is welcome.

Not one of the club's three Saturday fixtures in their opening six games kick-off at 3pm - and the Europa League will deprive Reds of more Saturday matches.

Saturday's drive to the DW Stadium will also have excited the Tuanzebe and Warren households.

Mourinho specifically namechecked teenage defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Tyrell Warren as two youngsters who could feature.

Tuanzebe was the first of United's academy rookies to be promoted to the first-team squad last season and, but for a fourmonth lay- off through injury, would surely have made his senior debut.

An England Under-19 international, his promise - as well as that of the injured RoShaun Williams - could convince Mourinho to jettison some of the underwhelming defenders Louis van Gaal rewarded with deals.

Mancunian Warren, 17, should be a more prominent figure in the Under-21s after a season with the Under-18s. He was, during a campaign which included 12 successive league defeats, one of the better youth team performers and that was recognised by Warren Joyce's faith in promoting Warren to the reserve team.

United will be deprived of 14 players at Wigan.

Eleven were included in Euro 2016 squads, while Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Antonio Valencia featured for their countries at the Copa America.

Pre-season players' but some be Samuel Mourinho will be bereft of four United strikers, so James Wilson might have the chance to remind the club just why he made his debut aged 18.

Pre-season can fuel players' optimism but some, like Wilson, must be realistic. He and, in particular, Will Keane are two players in their 20s who have sampled regular football in the Championship and need to plan on starting the new season elsewhere.

The same applies to Sam Johnstone, 23, who could start in De Gea's and Romero's absence at Wigan but is out of contract next year and needs first-team football. …

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