Man Utd’s forgotten star misses start of pre-season as Erik ten Hag faces fresh questions

Man Utd's forgotten star misses start of pre-season as Erik ten Hag faces fresh questions

Tyrell Malacia hasn’t played for Manchester United in more than a year (Image: Getty Images)

Under Erik ten Hag, several Manchester United players have resumed training in anticipation of the forthcoming campaign, although one standout member of the squad was not there.

Tyrell Malacia, a defender for Manchester United, has raised concerns about his future after he failed to show up for the start of preseason training.

When Malacia, a former Feyenoord defender, joined United in the summer of 2022, Erik ten Hag made him his first signing. After an injury-plagued second season, he did not play a single game. He played 39 times in his debut season in England.

This week, United started their preseason workouts, although not every player returned to the pitch. Even if their teams have already been eliminated from the continental competitions, those representing their countries in Euro 2024 or the Copa America have an extended break.

This implies that players like Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes will have more time to heal. But the absence of malacia does not fit that description.

When the first members of the squad returned, Malacia and Jadon Sancho were the only senior players who were missing, according to the Manchester Evening News. Sancho spent the last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund, so his future may not be at Old Trafford, although Malacia has not been connected to a summer departure.

Rather, it’s known that he will require more time to heal after his most recent injury setback. The left-back, who last played for the first team on the last day of the 2022–2023 season, has had a protracted recovery following surgeries to address a knee injury. Ten Hag pointed out that Malacia hadn’t even set foot on the practice pitch the previous season.

Following the conclusion of the 2023–24 season, Ten Hag stated, “We had recruited Malacia at the start of last season precisely as a back-up for Luke Shaw; those two options had to bring us a lot.” Malacia was a great idea, and he performed admirably the previous season, but we didn’t have him this time around.

The injury problems Luke Shaw had last season made Malacia’s absence much more inconvenient. The England international played in just 12 league games the previous season; Sofyan Amrabat was one of many who filled in at left-back despite their usual position being elsewhere, and Sergio Reguilon provided insurance following a loan move.

Shaw’s last Premier League appearance for United came in a 45-minute game against Luton in February. However, he was judged healthy enough to be named in England’s Euro 2024 roster, and in the quarterfinal matchup against Switzerland, he came off the bench.

Shaw expressed his satisfaction that United had stuck with manager Ten Hag to reporters in Germany. “His decision to stay has been well received by all,” he stated. It wasn’t really surprising—I chatted with him a few times recently; he was always going to sign.

“Everyone is quite happy. Take a look at the past two seasons; he has won a trophy each time. Although he has had some success, there is undoubtedly more to come.

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