Jose Mourinho did not hide his frustration at the lack of personnel over his disposal at Manchester United over pre-season.
A total of ten players were absent from the tour due to World Cup commitments. Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Diogo Dalot, Chris Smalling, Sergio Romero and Ander Herrera are all players currently unavailable through injury.
In other words, he has had a skeleton to work with. But with a month now gone since Paul Pogba lifted the World Cup in Moscow, players are starting to return to full fitness ahead of the clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.
A player who could come straight back into the starting XI is Jesse Lingard, who has been training with the squad for over a week now. Supporters will hope to see the Englishman, along with the midfield trifecta of Pogba, Andreas Pereira and Fred, add some zip to the side’s transition up the pitch.
Another huge name is that of Romelu Lukaku: the Belgian cut his holiday short to be available for United and came on as a substitute against Leicester City. Expect him to start on Sunday. United are a totally different team with him in the side.
The likes of Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young, who both made the bench last Friday, should be involved as well. Mourinho faces a tough selection issue when it comes to the latter, with Luke Shaw putting in a ‘Man of the Match’ display over the weekend.
After a turbulent month, Mourinho is finally starting to see his full compliment take shape.