Manchester United announce squad for China tour, Zlatan Ibrahimovic excluded
Manchester United have announced their 25-man squad for the preseason China tour, where they play Borussia Dortmund on 22nd July and bitter derby rivals, Manchester City, on the 25th. New boss Jose Mourinho opted to mix it up by selecting a squad comprising of youth and experience.
The Red Devils will take part in the International Champions Cup, which boasts of teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea among other elite clubs. The tournament, also known as ICC, started in 2013 and has been a huge success, since. This edition of ICC will feature 21 matches across 7 countries- China, USA, Australia, England, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not been named in United’s traveling squad, and will be given extra rest ahead of the new Premier League season. United signed Zlatan on a free transfer from PSG, on a one-year deal, with an option to extend it by another year. United fans all over the world have been eager to see the big Swede in United colors, but it seems like that’ll have to wait a little longer.
Mourinho's first game in charge of United ended in jubilation as goals from Will Keane, and Andres Pereira gave them a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic. Mourinho remained loyal to the squad that won him his first game at United, choosing 18 of the 22 players that went up against Wigan- with the quartet of James Wilson, Joel Pereira, Tyler Blackett and Guillermo Varela left back.
United, however, will have their superstars, David De Gea, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford available for the pre-season tournament. Young Rashford will be on his first senior tour with Manchester United after he broke into the United side for the first time in February. Rashford would be raring to go and prove a point or two to his new manager.
England's Chris Smalling, Argentina's Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, and Northern Ireland star Paddy McNair will all be available following international duty at the European Championship and Copa America Centenario this summer. Summer signings, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Baily, have been included in the pre-season squad, as well.
Mourinho stated that Baily needs more minutes than any other player to improve his communication with the entire team, especially the back 4. Baily impressed in United’s win over Wigan, and so did Armenian playmaker, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Mourinho has also included academy player, Alex Tuanzebe for the pre-season tour. The new United boss has spoken very highly of the young defender, saying that it only took him 10 minutes to realize the youngster’s potential. The pre-season can be Tuanzebe’s golden chance to break into United’s regular squad.
French pair Anthony Martial and Morgan Schneiderlin, Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, Belgium's Marouane Fellaini and Italy's Matteo Darmian are all also not going to the Far East, giving them more recovery time after Euro 2016.
The Manchester United squad
Goakeepers: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone
Defenders: Bailly, Blind, Fosu-Mensah, Jones, McNair, Rojo, Shaw, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Valencia
Midfielders: Carrick, Herrera, Januzaj, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Mkhitaryan, A.Pereira, Young
Forwards: Keane, Rashford, Rooney