Investigation Aims to Uncover Reasons Behind First-Team Absences Plaguing Erik ten Hag’s Squad
In a bid to unravel the mystery behind the sudden surge in injuries affecting their first-team roster, Manchester United has initiated a comprehensive investigation. The club, currently grappling with a challenging start to the season, is concerned about the simultaneous absence of as many as eight key players, leaving manager Erik ten Hag struggling to field his preferred starting eleven.
The team’s performance in the Premier League reflects their struggles, with Manchester United currently residing in the 10th position after winning four and losing four of their initial eight fixtures. The injury toll has now reached a staggering 16 players since the commencement of the season, with notable summer signings Rasmus Hojlund and Mason Mount among those sidelined.
The Daily Mail’s Mike Keegan reports that Manchester United’s medical department is actively involved in the investigation, aiming to identify any discernible patterns or underlying causes for the injury crisis. The club recently bolstered its medical staff by recruiting Gary O’Driscoll from Arsenal as the head of sports medicine, though the injuries had already started to plague the squad before his appointment.
The club’s fixture congestion has come under scrutiny, as they played 41 games between December and the end of the previous season, surpassing the total number of matches played by Aston Villa throughout the entire campaign.
The repercussions of the injury crisis are also impacting United’s transfer strategy. With key defenders Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia sidelined, makeshift arrangements, including deploying Sofyan Amrabat, on loan from Fiorentina, at left-back, have become necessary. This strategic shift in player deployment underscores the urgency for the club to find swift solutions to their injury woes.
While some injuries, such as Lisandro Martinez’s impact injury, may have been unavoidable, they have prompted Manchester United to make unexpected moves in the transfer market. The club has re-signed the experienced 35-year-old Jonny Evans and provided a lifeline to Harry Maguire, the former club captain, who was on the verge of joining West Ham for £30 million in the summer but opted to stay at Old Trafford despite a wage cut. The complex interplay of injuries and transfer decisions underscores the multifaceted challenges facing Manchester United as they navigate this turbulent period in the season.
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