Oriol Romeu’s awful challenge on Mason Greenwood on Monday has repercussions for the Manchester United forward.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website that Greenwood is a doubt to face Crystal Palace on Thursday night with an ankle injury.
Regarding Greenwood he said his ankle was ‘swollen and a bit blown up’, adding: “In the heat of the moment he’ll play on and adrenaline gets you going, and then you get a little bit of reaction after.”
Greenwood is obviously United’s best option at right wing at the moment, but United have to be smart.
There is a FA Cup semi-final just days away, and as big as this Premier League game is for United, that has to be a consideration.
Greenwood is an exciting talent for the future too, so United have to be careful with him and think long term.
So with all of that in mind, United need to look at replacing Greenwood for this fixture.
Unfortunately right wing is not exactly a position of strength. It may be the team’s weakest position in terms of depth after years of underinvestment.
With that said, there are options. United have as many as five ways to replace Greenwood against Palace on Thursday night…
Starting Dan James may be United’s most likely move here, even though the Welshman has plenty to prove.
He started United’s first game of the restart against Spurs on the right wing, and he does have a goal against Palace to his name earlier in the season.
Aston Villa’s right winger Trezeguet scored twice against Palace at the weekend and James could benefit from his pace exploiting the Eagles in the same way
Juan Mata has played on the right wing far too often for his liking through the years, and at this point once again, it is his best route into the team.
The veteran Spaniard did well in the position before lockdown, linking up well with Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo in Europa League games.
Tahith Chong would be more of an option here if he had been used at all since restart. Instead he has not even made the bench.
However he has more of a chance against Palace and could be a wildcard selection for Solskjaer if he has been impressed by the Dutchman in training, or wants somebody completely fresh to fill in.
Sadly we are back to discussing Andreas Pereira on the right wing. Wasn’t this meant to be a thing of the past?
Pereira was not a natural for this role, despite showing promise with an assist for Anthony Martial from a cross in the opening game against Chelsea.
He is closer to the first team than Chong, and it would be wrong to pretend this is not an option for Solskjaer, even though it won’t be popular.
None – Play Odion Ighalo up front instead
The Greenwood news adds to the case for United to shift formation to 3-4-1-2 for this fixture.
United could simply pick Odion Ighalo in Greenwood’s place, and play the Nigerian up front alongside Anthony Martial.
Marcus Rashford could also get a rest, with United using wing-backs on the flanks.
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