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Manchester United: 5 points to note from the Red Devils' pre-season tour

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
ANALYST
Modified 30 Jul 2019, 00:04 IST
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Manchester United managed to pick up a hard-fought 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur in their fourth pre-season tie. Many fans and pundits feel that this may just be what Manchester United wanted as they go into the new season. Tottenham and Inter Milan provided United with a much sterner test and the team came out with flying colours in both games.

Take nothing away from the Red Devils, they have been impressive in this tour. Winning all four of their games has just given them the confidence boost they wanted as they go into a new season. Though, in some of those games, the opposition was found wanting, you can’t say that there aren’t some clear improvements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Against Tottenham, things were, as expected, spiced up a little bit and the Red Devils didn’t have it all their way. The game didn’t lack a competitive edge that pre-season friendlies are accustomed to, and it was evident by the heavy tackles some United players came under.

Here are five things noted from Manchester United's tour, now it has ended:


#5 Tuanzebe should take over

Axel Tuanzebe could jump into first team at Manchester United
Axel Tuanzebe could jump into first team at Manchester United

Manchester United was expected to boost the centre of their defence in this transfer window. What happens in case they fail to get a mature and reliable leader to marshal their defence?  

At the moment, the defence is almost picking itself, with the team only one centre-back shy of being what Ole Gunnar wants. But who is going to fill in the position in the case that a new arrival doesn’t materialize?

With the addition of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the team now has a specialist right-back that can complement the other defenders. The left-back slot is now fully Luke Shaw’s, and Victor Lindelof is the go-to centre-back currently.

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All the team needs is a consistent partner for the Swede and they’ll be good to go. The likes of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly have shown promise when partnering the Swede, but it is clear United need an upgrade.

Then there are other options like Marcus Rojo and Phil Jones as well, but none of them are what a club of Manchester United’s stature wants. That only leaves academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe as the best option in the occasion that no one comes in.

United need to build long-term, and the other defenders don’t look like long-term options any more. This may just be the right time for United to introduce the young centre-back - who was impressive last season on loan at Aston Villa - to the first team at Old Trafford.

To top it up, he has equally been impressive on tour and there’s no reason why he can’t break into this United side and take up a permanent role. He can save United millions that can be better invested in other areas of the team.

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Published 30 Jul 2019, 00:04 IST
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