Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Man United suffer injury crisis

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Manchester United will be without several first team stars for their Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed on Friday that Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial are all out injured, while Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka may not make it either.

United host a Leicester side who are unbeaten so far and playing some dazzling stuff under Brendan Rodgers, as many believe this game will set the tone for the Foxes pushing above United this season and having a better chance than the Red Devils of nicking a top four spot.

This injury crisis is far from ideal for Solskjaer.

“The treatment room has been busy and still is,” Solskjaer said. “We don’t really know who is going to be available. Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and that’s it from the ones that had to pull out but I can’t promise those two will be fit either. Pogba won’t be fit unless he’s had a miraculous recovery overnight. He’s not been ready to train at 100 per cent. We hope more can be ready for West Ham, Paul and Anthony are in that category. I think they will be ready for then. I can’t say more than that.”

So, that is Pogba, Lingard, Shaw, Martial and Wan-Bissaka all likely to be missing, plus Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly are out injured.

How might United line up against Leicester at Old Trafford?

The lineup below is probable, and it certainly looks like Leicester’s pace and trickery in the final third may be too much for this banged up United side to handle.

—– De Gea —–

—- Tuanzebe —- Lindelof —- Maguire —- Young —-

—- McTominay —- Matic —-

—- Mata —- Perreira —- James —- 

—– Rashford —–

Wan-Bissaka pulls out of England squad with back injury

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New Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka has pulled out of the England squad with a back injury, the national team confirmed Tuesday.

Wan-Bissaka had received his first international call-up after a summer move to Manchester United where he has settled in fantastically and impressed in his first four Red Devils appearances. He was with the England squad as the group trained ahead of upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo, and was looking at the possibility of making his international debut, but seemed to have picked up the back problem in training.

“Aaron Wan-Bissaka has withdrawn from the England squad,” the FA said in a statement. “The Manchester United right-back has returned to his club due to a back issue.”

The FA confirmed in the statement that with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier both already with the group as right-sided full-backs, no replacement would be drawn in to the squad and the number of players would remain at 24 after Wan-Bissaka’s withdrawal. The Guardian reports that the new injury leaves Wan-Bissaka in a questionable state for Manchester United’s Premier League match against Leicester City on September 14. With Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot both injured already, it leaves the Red Devils worryingly thin at full-back.

The 21-year-old moved to Manchester United from Crystal Palace this summer in a $60 million move, and has been fantastic thus far, living up to his reputation as a tackling wizard with a stunning haul of 26 completed tackles in 31 attempts thus far. Still, Manchester United has struggled to open the season, winning just one of its first four Premier League matches.

Not time for panic at Man United

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It won’t be a popular notion in a competitive world which demands people make their own luck, but Manchester United fans should not push the panic button yet when it comes to the club’s early season performances.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-2 Palace | Ole reacts ]

Yes, there are deserved questions about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a manager (Jesse Lingard has been subpar for the better part of a calendar year), and Paul Pogba as a center piece. Marcus Rashford may not be a “United level” star center forward and the sale of Romelu Lukaku without replacing him with a backup above the age of 17 is a hazard at best.

Despite all these things, United should very much be unbeaten right now.

The Red Devils weren’t as good as their 4-0 score line versus Chelsea to open the season, but it appears their opponents aren’t anywhere near the traditional standard bearers to wear the Stamford Bridge set’s blue colors following a draw with Leicester City and scrappy 3-2 defeat of Norwich City.

Consider: Opta reports that United is only the second team to win a penalty in each of their first three matches to a Premier League season, after Chelsea in 2012-13.

Also consider: Chelsea made all of theirs (Also an odd one, all of those penalties came before the 23rd minute. Low stress. The scorers were Frank Lampard (2) and Eden Hazard).

United probably deserved to have gotten all three points from their draw with Wolves a week ago, and no club deserves to be enraged as the seemingly case-by-case rulebook being applied to in-game penalty reviews by the VAR (although Spurs supporters are likely feeling a change in the wind between Aymeric Laporte‘s handball and Jamaal Lascelles‘ face plant, we imagine).

The nature of the last two finishes has also been a shock to the system. United, like most big clubs, simply doesn’t lose at home and not late. According to Opta, Patrick Van Aanholt joined Thierry Henry as the only visitors players to have scored a 90th minute winner at Old Trafford (At some point we should have a discussion about Van Aanholt being criminally underrated, but not on account of David De Gea‘s “Where’d my hands go?” routine).

But this is very much a case of luck, Fortune, or whatever word you deem adequate to describe the defiance of statistics. On Saturday alone, Gary Cahill tried a rodeo mount of Martial and VAR somehow didn’t deem it a penalty; Rashford smashed a penalty off the post; And one of the finest goal keepers in the world forgot how to keep goal.

Small sample size alert, but look at United’s standing in these statistical categories (via WhoScored.com). The Red Devils have had all of the ball, are winning their 50/50s, passing well, and are arriving in an ornery mood. Obviously, they should shoot more. Also, they should score their penalties.

The other good news comes in this way: United’s best performers have come from the players they’ve identified as a big part of their future.

Anthony Martial has been their most influential player and should’ve won a penalty against Palace in addition to his assist (and goals in each of their first two PL matches). Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Daniel James are delivering the goods, too.

United faces a tricky trip to in-form Southampton this week. Saints deserved a point against Liverpool before beating Brighton, but will be playing its third match in a week following midweek League Cup action versus Fulham.

Should they falter, especially via a missed penalty, well… first and foremost, send us your popcorn gifs. But truly, consider the performance. Given the club’s lack of addressing the midfield and willingness to let Lukaku walk, perhaps you’d say the Red Devils displays away from the penalty spot this early season have been in a decent place.

This isn’t to say the team is great. I picked them to finish outside the Top Four and have yet to be swayed that the Red Devils can come together quick enough to outlast Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, and Arsenal over 38 matches. Solskjaer is likely to prove a lesser Zidane over time (a terrific man manager, but not as advanced when it comes to matching wits with the best tactical minds or even super experienced ones like Roy Hodgson).

Panic, however, should be reserved not for a 1-1-1 start. If you want to direct your frustration somewhere, I’d choose the lot using missed penalties to fire racism at players.

Man United complete $57-million Wan-Bissaka transfer

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Manchester United’s pursuit of Aaron Wan-Bissaka is complete after the 21-year-old made his long-rumored transfer from Crystal Palace, the clubs announced on Saturday.

[ MORE: Full Premier League 2019-20 preseason schedule ]

The initial fee is understood to be $57 million — a record for an uncapped British player — with an additional $6.3 million of add-ons possible. Wan-Bissaka signed a five-year contract with Man United.

Wan-Bissaka will immediately take over as the starting right back at Old Trafford, replacing Antonio Valencia who signed for Ecuadorian side LDU Quito on Friday after 10 years at Man United, most of which saw him hold down the job at right back.

[ MORE: AC Milan banned from European competitions ]

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called Wan-Bissaka “one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League.”

“He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring into the squad to help us improve and push on further.”

Reports: Man United nears Wan-Bissaka deal as fee agreed with Palace

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According to widespread reports, including the BBC, Sky Sports, and ESPNFC, Manchester United and Crystal Palace have neared completion of a deal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the player is set to complete a medical and finalize a move worth $57 million with another $6.3 million of add-ons.

The 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka will reportedly sign a five-year contract with an option for a sixth year, leaving him under Manchester United control until he is in his prime at 27 years old. He will reportedly undergo a medical within the next 24 hours and become the second Manchester United signing of the summer after Daniel James of Swansea put pen to paper two weeks ago.

According to reports, Wan-Bissaka’s wages will explode at Manchester United, set to earn $5.3 million a year. The increase is significant after coming from Crystal Palace where he was the lowest earning first-team player making under $700,000 a year.

The deal took significant time to complete, with Crystal Palace rejecting a pair of Manchester United bids worth $44 million and $51 million. Palace was most concerned with the amount of deferred and add-on payments, wanting more up front which Manchester United executive Ed Woodward eventually conceded to.

Wan-Bissaka, a Crystal Palace youth product, was a workhorse for the club last season, starting all but three Premier League matches and completing the full 90 minutes in all but one of those starts. The youngster joins a Manchester United squad thin at full-back, with just Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah at the position.

The 21-year-old was on duty with the England youth squad at the U-21 Euros, but made a mistake in the opening match, scoring an own-goal that led to a late 2-1 defeat to France. He was then sat for the next two matches by head coach Andy Boothroyd, who admitted his decision to bench the youngster partially had to do with the transfer. “For a young player who all he knows is Crystal Palace academy and Crystal Palace it would be daft not to say that in some way he must think about it,” Boothroyd said after England’s early exit from the tournament in the group stage. “When that speculation is flying around it is bound to turn your head. But having said all of that had he not scored the own goal we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.”