Manchester United’s injury problems could be set for a major boost after the international break with Phil Jones, Ander Herrera, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all closing in on a return, according to reports.
In the build-up to United’s game against Everton the press suggested Jones would be available for selection but that wasn’t the case. However, he’s likely to be ready after this extended two week break. Prior to his injury Jones was United’s most consistent defender and although McNair has done fantastic in his absence, Van Gaal will want to bolster his defensive options.
As for an early return for Herrera, that would be fantastic news because as decent as Antonio Valencia was against Everton, United missed Herrera’s all-round ability in the middle of the park. The Spaniard has been superb since arriving in the summer and has already established himself as an important player in Van Gaal’s starting XI.
Carrick and Young re-joining training is also news that would be a boost for the strength of the squad but the stand-out player from those is Carrick. United have desperately missed his calming presence in midfield in the second halves of games, so Van Gaal will be itching to get him into action this season.
Lastly, Evans’ return alongside Smalling would give Van Gaal some much needed options in defence which he will be glad to have. That being said, both would have a fight on their hand getting back into the starting XI thanks to the impressive partnership of Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair.
Louis van Gaal has already confirmed four players have returned to training and when you add a potential return for Herrera on top of that, it paints a far brighter picture for United who have been on the wrong end of so many injuries this season.
However, one thing Van Gaal is unlikely to do is rush any player back into action because of the risk it carries but he’ll want his strongest XI ready in time for the game against Chelsea on 26 October.
Either way, it’s just great news to hear about United players returning from injury rather than new players joining them on the sidelines and it certainly makes a welcome change.