Manchester United: Three reasons why the Europa League is vital for the Red Devils
Manchester United’s failure to secure a Champions League place last season has hurt them on quite a few fronts. The Red Devils are set to lose out on the revenue generated from the premier European tournament, but more devastating has been the baggage that has arrived with the lack of Champions League football. Most importantly, it has hurt the club’s image in the transfer window, as United are no longer the preferred destination for world-class talent.
The Red Devils are currently playing in the Europa League and this Thursday, they travel to Partizan Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia, to face Partizan Belgrade in their third game of the group stages. United are currently second in the table behind the Serbian club, who are ahead because they have scored more goals so far. Despite the fact that the Europa League lacks the charms and charisma of the Champions League, the tournament is still vital for the Red Devils and here are three reasons why.
#3 Youth promotion
The Europa League provides Solskjaer a fairly good opportunity to test his squad and try out various different combinations on the pitch. It also represents a chance for the youngsters to get a taste of European experience. Because Solskjaer is aiming for the future, it is important that he reinforces the young players in the club with the ethics and etiquette required to flourish in Europe. As such, the Europa League could prove to be a vital platform for youth promotion and the Norwegian has been using the tournament wisely so far.
Solskjaer has named quite a few youngsters in his matchday squad in the previous two games in the tournament. Against Astana, the Norwegian started with Diogo Dalot and Axel Tuanzebe in defense, while Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, and Tahith Chong teamed up with Marcus Rashford to form a very young front four. In addition, Solskjaer also had midfielder James Garner on the bench.
In the last game against AZ Alkmaar, the Norwegian opted for Gomes and Greenwood in attack once again, while Brendan Williams and Dalot were the full-backs. Chong was an unused substitute on the bench.