Manchester United are in Norway preparing to face Leeds in a pre-season game without a recognised striker in the squad.

The failure to sign a striker so far this summer and Anthony Martial‘s ongoing fitness battle has exposed an already glaring weakness in the squad.

This is the list of available forwards for the friendly, “Amad, Noam Emeran, Omari Forson, Joe Hugill, Jadon Sancho, Shola Shoretire.”

With so players unavailable due to international duty, Erik ten Hag is delving into the academy to fill some spots. But there is a glaring omission.

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Manchester United U21 v Wolverhampton Wanderers U21: Premier League 2
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Charlie McNeill latest

While it is good to see academy striker Joe Hugill in the mix, there is no mention of teammate Charlie McNeill.

The former City prospect was the first Manchester United youngster to be handed his debut under Erik ten Hag last year.

He last night posted an image on Instagram from a training pitch, in which he is seen looking at his watch, while there is an hourglass emoji alongside it.

Meaning of Charlie McNeill message

It is clear Charlie McNeill is waiting for something but it is unclear what exactly the young striker is referring to.

Is he injured and waiting to be passed fit? Is he waiting to be called up for United’s next game? Or has he secured a loan or permanent move, which he is waiting to go through?

McNeill spent the second half of last season at Newport County, his first loan spell and a chance for the 19-year-old to test himself properly away from United.

He was looking forward to pre-season, with The MEN reporting in April, “A source close to McNeill believes United “will see a different player” when he returns in the summer.”

A video posted two weeks ago on McNeill’s Instagram from a private training session looked as though he was fully fit, however, he was not among the group back at Carrington last week.

Whatever the hold-up, McNeill’s message implies he is getting impatient waiting for it to clear. Pre-season can provide great opportunities for young players, as his teammates will see later on.

With United lacking goalscorers currently, McNeill would have loved the chance to get in the mix and show what he can do.

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