English Premier League Prediction: Manchester United Coach Erik ten Hag Faces Injury Woes as Key Players Sidelined
In the latest update, Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag is facing a headache as several Red Devils players are sidelined due to injuries.
Recently, two Manchester United players, Marcus Rashford and Andre Onana, have also encountered injury issues.
The team has been frequently disrupted by an injury storm, losing several key players.
Earlier, Manchester United already lost Rasmus Hojlund (Denmark) and Christian Eriksen (Denmark), who were sent back to MU by the Danish national team due to injuries.
Marcus Rashford, a key player in England’s match against Malta in the Euro 2024 Qualifiers on Saturday (18/11/2023) early morning WIB, collided with Liverpool star and his teammate in the England national team, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Both players intended to control the ball, but Arnold, running at a considerable speed, accidentally collided with Rashford.
In that match, Marcus Rashford had to be replaced by Cole Palmer and is likely to be absent when England faces North Macedonia.
Onana had to be withdrawn with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game and was replaced by Fabrice Ondoa.
Andre Onana and Marcus Rashford join the long list of injured Manchester United players.
Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag is now troubled by the increasing number of absent players.
Previously, Manchester United had already lost Jonny Evans, Lisandro Martinez, and Tyrell Malacia for the defensive sector.
In the English Premier League (EPL), Manchester United may consider partnering Mateo Mejia with their goal machine, Rasmus Hojlund.
As known, Manchester United has strengthened its attacking front by acquiring Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta.
However, Manchester United is currently facing a challenging situation. Despite not falling to the bottom of the standings, the Red Devils have several issues in their squad.
Erik ten Hag has recently been disappointed by some senior players’ performances.
Moreover, the Red Devils have not placed any of their representatives in the top 10 of the Premier League’s 2023/2024 top scorers list.
One option he might consider is deploying Mateo Mejia as the right link for Rasmus Hojlund.
Mateo Mejia is a 20-year-old youth product from the Manchester United academy who recently signed a new contract with the club in June 2023.
In the future, Mateo Mejia could become the right partner for Rasmus Hojlund. Moreover, he has interesting and satisfying statistics.
According to PanoScout, the Zaragoza-born youngster has made 11 appearances for Manchester United U-21 this season in Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy, scoring 3 goals and providing 4 assists.
Mateo Mejia can help provide assists for Rasmus Hojlund and deliver passes regularly and consistently.
On the flip side, he also has the capacity to score goals on his own.
This season, not only in Premier League 2, Mateo Mejia has also played in the EFL Trophy and recorded 1.3 key passes per game.
Furthermore, he has a 50 percent success rate for attempted dribbles and crosses.
So far, in Manchester United’s junior team, Mateo Mejia has played in 32 matches, scoring 6 goals and providing 8 assists.
He is a smart and dynamic winger. Besides being a winger, Jose Mateo Mejía Piedrahita can also be deployed as a striker.
Mateo Mejia, born in Zaragoza, Spain, on March 21, 2003, chose to represent Colombia, his parents’ home country, despite being born in Spain.
He began his football career in the Zaragoza academy before joining Manchester United in 2019.
After joining, he was placed in the U-18 squad but showed significant progress after being promoted to the U-21 team.
His playing minutes increased, as did his experience – playing in Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy.
However, for the national team, Mateo Mejia has not yet showcased his full potential. He last represented Colombia U-20 in 2022.
If he can impress at Manchester United, Mateo Mejia will have a better chance of catching the attention of the national team coach.
For this reason, it remains to be seen whether this young talent will get playing time from Erik ten Hag or not.
Manchester United, the 20-time Premier League champion, made significant recruitments in the summer 2023 transfer window.
Manchester United brought in names such as Andre Onana, Altay Bayindir, Sergio Reguilon, Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat, and Rasmus Houjlund.
Only Sergio Reguilon and Sofyan Amrabat were loaned in.
In addition, the Red Devils also re-signed Jonny Evans on a free transfer.
Despite fulfilling some positions for reinforcement, Manchester United is believed to still need improvement in the winter transfer window of 2024.
According to Mirror, the central defender position is the top priority that needs attention.
The report from Mirror refers to the condition of Erik ten Hag’s squad, especially in the central defender position.
The inconsistent performance of the team based at Old Trafford is considered to be influenced by the absence of central defenders in the first three months of the 2023-2024 season.
Central defender Lisandro Martinez from Argentina has been absent from the team since September due to a foot injury.
Meanwhile, Raphael Varane has just returned from injury recovery and is not yet 100 percent fit.
The weakness in the backline also led Erik ten Hag to use Luke Shaw as a central defender, although the player eventually suffered a muscle injury.
The return of Jonny Evans as a backup initially made Ten Hag feel secure.
However, the veteran Northern Irish defender became the latest victim of injury after falling in the match against FC Copenhagen.
Practically, Manchester United only has 3 available central defenders in Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Varane.
Considering the length of the 2023-2024 season, Manchester United is expected to be active in the 2024 winter transfer window.
Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo is a potential target to be brought in.
However, there are rumors that Todibo’s recruitment will be postponed until the summer transfer window of 2024.
Meanwhile, other reports also mention that Sporting CP central defender Goncalo Inacio is on the list.
At 22 years old, Inacio has earned a place in the heart of Sporting CP’s defense this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s younger classmate has a release clause of around 60 million euros in his contract.
The value does not make it difficult for Manchester United to secure the signature of the Almada-born player.
The last name on the wishlist is Bayer Leverkusen’s central defender, Jonathan Tah.
To recruit Tah, Manchester United will have to compete with fellow Premier League teams Newcastle United and West Ham United.
There is information circulating regarding Manchester United’s transfer activities in January 2024. The Red Devils are reportedly likely to only be able to buy one new player in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Manchester United started the 2023/2024 season with a series of unfavorable results. They suffered many defeats in various competitions they participated in.
This situation prompts Erik Ten Hag to try to improve his team in the upcoming winter. The Dutch manager is reportedly looking to recruit several new players for his team.
The Mirror reported that MU could not bring in too many players in the upcoming winter. There may only be one new player joining Old Trafford.
According to the report, Manchester United cannot spend too much money in the winter transfer window.
This is because Manchester United has already received Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions a few months ago due to their expenditures exceeding income.
That’s why the Red Devils cannot spend too much money on shopping, even though they have just received an injection of funds from their new investor, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
According to the report, Manchester United has set their transfer priorities in the upcoming winter.
The Red Devils will focus on buying a new central defender. Erik Ten Hag considers that his defense needs additional personnel immediately.
Lisandro Martinez’s prolonged injury has left their central defender stock very limited at the moment.
According to rumors, Manchester United has also set who their transfer target is in the upcoming winter.
Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo is mentioned as the central defender that the Red Devils will try to bring to Old Trafford.