As Man United look to seal the deal against LASK, could it be a chance for academy starts to light up Old Trafford?
Back in March, Man United’s last football outing before the coronavirus lockdown, saw Solskjaer’s men take a commanding 5-0 lead in Austria against Europa League opponents LASK.
With the competition now being allowed to resume, the Red Devils will aim to finish the job this evening. Yet with such a dominant lead, many United fans can expect to see a rotated side take to the field as they look to secure a spot in the last eight of the competition.
Following a disappointing loss against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Solskjaer will be keen to quickly move on and focus on taking his side to this year’s final in Cologne, as he eyes his first piece of silverware as a manager at the club.
After concluding a packed Premier League schedule that saw many of United’s first team play as recently as the 26th July. Wednesday’s fixture presents a prime opportunity for Solskjaer to rest key players and instead turn his head towards the academy.
With the likes of Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood enjoying breakthrough seasons at the Theatre of Dreams. Manchester United’s Europa League squad has included a trio of academy players who will be keen to snatch the opportunity and replicate their success.
The first of the academy starlets hoping to feature on Wednesday evening is United’s youth-team Captain, Teden Mengi.
Hoping to make his debut for the club, the young 18-year-old will be familiar with stepping up the ranks at Old Trafford. Especially after featuring for the Under-23 side at the age of just 17 earlier this season.
With the first-team Captain, Harry Maguire, featuring in every minute of Manchester United’s Premier League campaign this season. Mengi provides an extra option for Solskjaer should he want to switch things up at the back against LASK.
Unlike Mengi, Laird has had a taste of first-team football this season following his appearances against Astana and AZ Alkmaar in the competition’s group stage.
And with Solskjaer facing an injured Luke Shaw and the likelihood of resting key players such as Aaron Wan Bissaka. Laird will be hoping his versatility and experience at both full-back positions will help him fight for a place in the line-up.
Another Ethan coming through the ranks at United is Northern Ireland midfielder, Ethan Galbraith. After making a substitute appearance in United’s defeat against Astana in November, the energetic midfielder has since struggled to reinstate his position in the Red Devils’ squad.
But his inclusion in United’s 30 man squad will reignite hope that he can compete with the likes of Scott McTominay and Fred. Who are also in need of minutes after their reduced contribution following football’s resumption.