When Manchester United told Mason Greenwood on Instagram to ‘keep it up’ following the 18-year-old’s England debut against Iceland, what he then did was not exactly what they had in mind.
England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed yesterday that there had been an incident involving Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden in their hotel rooms after the game, saying ‘they understand they have got this wrong.
‘Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the COVID guidelines in terms of our secure bubble – had to decide they couldn’t have interaction with the rest of the team.
‘I have got to try and speak with them later in the appropriate way. They have got responsibilities and they have apologised.
‘It is a very serious situation and we have treated it that way.
‘Obviously they have been naïve.’
Another scandal is the last thing that Manchester United need as they prepare to kick off the new season in 12 days’ time. To say that the short holiday period between the end of last season and the beginning of this has been difficult for the Red Devils would be an understatement.
Harry Maguire, of course, was arrested and convicted of aggravated assault and attempted bribery of an official during an ill-fated trip to the Greek island of Mykonos. Paul Pogba has tested positive for COVID-19. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had to self-isolate for a fortnight after travelling to Dubai. Marcus Rashford and Brandon Williams have sustained injuries that have kept them out of action.
Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have both returned to training at the club under a cloud as both reportedly wanted to stay at their loan clubs, Roma and Estudiantes, respectively.
Sergio Romero is reportedly angry and unhappy that he was dropped for two semi-finals last season and not told that Dean Henderson would be staying at the club and potentially taking over his position as backup to David de Gea.
The worrying thing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be whether all of this will affect the mood and spirit of a camp that had until recently been a happy and tight-knit group.
It must be said, there have also been some positives in this short inter-season recess. Victor Lindelof performed heroics in Sweden tackling a bag-snatcher, Bruno Fernandes has become a father for the second time, David de Gea has won back Spain’s number one jersey with two fine displays, Dean Henderson has signed a new five year contract at the club and Anthony Martial has been restored to the French national side.
The fact that all of the above has happened in the mere 23 days since United’s Europa League exit means that there will certainly be a lot for Solskjaer to process and deal with before selecting his side for the Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Sunday 19th.
Manchester United’s new star Donny van de Beek will be the 13th Dutch national to play for the senior side. But how much do you know about the other 12? Take our quiz below to find out.