Manchester United: Preseason Tour Squad Announced
Manchester United have announced their squad to fly out to South Africa on Monday.
For some there will be a few surprises, both omissions and inclusions, but you have to consider a number of special factors.
First, a number of players were excluded by virtue of Euro 2012. Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Welbeck, Nani and Patrice Evra will join the preseason later.
Similarly, David De Gea, Rafael, Ryan Giggs and Thomas Cleverly are involved in the Olympics.
Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic are still getting back to maximum fitness following injury. Darren Fletcher still has his condition but may not return anyhow.
The most obvious facet is that there are only five defenders, with Ferdinand, Blackett, Vermijl, Wootton and Veseli (the former City youngster).
Amos, Macheda and Bebe are included despite rumours they will go out on loan; Berbatov and Anderson are supposedly for sale but have a chance to book a berth for next season if they want it.
It's a squad chock-full of midfielders, even though Sir Alex Ferguson is constantly being connected with top names from elsewhere. There are only three strikers named, which means Chicharito will get plenty of exposure. Nick Powell and Kagawa may well be tried out in the No. 10 role they covet.
As is always the case, there are opportunities for Academy graduates to grab a First Team squad number for next season. Michael Keane has only just returned from England U19 duty, and his talented brother Will is out for nine months with a cruciate injury—otherwise both would have been there.
It is no surprise that Tyler Blackett is on the trip. He is a youngster of real talent who can play left back or centre back. With Fryers gone, Fabio on loan, Evra excluded and Leighton Baines not arrived yet, Blackett could be this season's surprise packet.
Tunnicliffe, Brady, Lingard and Petrucci are no surprise. Wootton is highly rated. Larnell Cole will be disappointed to miss out.
The first match in South Africa is on Wednesday, and, if the past is anything to go by, most of the 22-man squad will get a run-out.
Below is a list of the full squad by position.
Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos, Sam Johnstone
Rio Ferdinand, Frederic Veseli, Marnick Vermijl, Scott Wootton, Tyler Blackett
Antonio Valencia, Anderson, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa, Bebe, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jesse Lingard, Robert Brady, Davide Petrucci
Javier Hernandez, Dimitar Berbatov, Federico Macheda
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