Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded an experimental side against Championship outfit Stoke City with a number of the club’s promising teenagers mixed with first-team squad players
Manchester United played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Stoke City on Wednesday with Mason Greenwood once again on the scoresheet.
Stoke ran out 4-3 victors in the clash against a mixed United side of players who were not called up to their national sides over the international break.
Youngsters Teden Mengi, Alvaro Fernandez and Hannibal Mejbri were all among the starters for the experimental United side with the aim of the game to increase match sharpness.
Greenwood – who has netted in each of the side’s opening three Premier League games this campaign – was among the scorers, while Mengi also found the net.
Mengi, 19, spent the second half of last season on loan at Derby County and is still hopeful of securing a loan move to a Championship side this campaign – with a host of clubs interested in his signature.
He partnered Phil Jones in the heart of defence – Jones has returned to fitness after a lengthy layoff and despite being a peripheral figure in recent years under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he could feature in domestic cup competitions this campaign.
Diogo Dalot started at right-back – the Portuguese defender is staying at Old Trafford this campaign having spent last season on loan at Milan in Serie A.
Borussia Dortmund had attempted to sign him on a loan deal but United have retained him to provide competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back.
Alvaro Fernandez – an 18-year-old who joined the club from Real Madrid last year and is now a regular for their Under-23 side – impressed at left-back, with the back four playing in front of Tom Heaton; who played as David De Gea is with Spain and Dean Henderson continues his recovery from Covid.
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There was a more experienced midfield with Nemanja Matic (who has retired from international duty with Serbia) and Donny van de Beek both featuring, with Juan Mata and the promising 18-year-old Hannibal Mejbri also starting the game.
Up front, Edinson Cavani – who hit the post from a free-kick – started alongside Greenwood, who continued his fine goal scoring form.
Cavani agreed not to be called up for Uruguay this month due to having to quarantine upon his return which would have seen him miss up to four matches for United.
Greenwood is another notable omission from the internationals as he was once again overlooked by England boss Gareth Southgate despite his form.
Manchester United starting XI v Stoke : Tom Heaton, Phil Jones, Teden Mengi, Diogo Dalot, Alvaro Fernandez, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani, Hannibal Mejbri, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood.
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