That&aposs not even talking about the stinking weather but instead the torrent of injuries United have suffered this season, a crisis that is showing no signs of abating. United have had anywhere between five and 12 players unavailable for every single game this season and it&aposs had a damaging impact on Erik ten Hag&aposs side.
Every team on the planet would struggle under the strain of so many crucial players being sidelined, it&aposs hard to legislate for your entire back four being ruled out of action. Saturday&aposs narrow win over Luton Town brought with it yet more bad news.
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Danish duo Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen both hobbled off the field and are set for a stint on the sidelines. Thankfully, Hojlund is only expected to be out until the end of November with a muscle strain but the prognosis isn&apost as promising for Eriksen.
The playmaker is set for a month on the sidelines which would likely see him miss the Premier League fixtures with Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, Bournemouth and Liverpool as well as the two crucial Champions League group matches, games United must win to stand any chance of staying in Europe&aposs top competition.
There&aposs never a good time to get injured but the timing of Eriksen&aposs injury particularly stings as he was just reinserting himself into the side. Ten Hag bemoaned the lack of balance in midfield but appeared to have found some with Eriksen partnering Scott McTominay. The two players&apos skill sets complimented each other well and performances had gradually improved with them together.
But now it&aposs back to the drawing board and Ten Hag must again work out who should play in the middle of the park. McTominay&aposs drive, energy and goal threat have certainly earned him a secure spot but who should play alongside him?
United have options and the obvious choice is Mason Mount. United did spend 60million on him after all. But is he the answer?
Some nice touches and good pressing aside, Mount has been a disappointment so far. There isn&apost an obvious fit for him in the team and the fact he has already slipped out of the starting XI, when Ten Hag was so desperate to sign him, is not a promising omen. The double pivot, especially alongside a marauding McTominay, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
But with Casemiro also sidelined, the only senior midfielder remaining doesn&apost fill you with confidence either. Sofyan Amrabat has been even worse than Mount since his loan signing and frankly doesn&apost look cut out for the Premier League. Perhaps it&aposs a fitness issue, a tactical miscalculation or a settling-in problem because Amrabat has certainly shown his quality in the past, most notably in the World Cup, but he hasn&apost shown any at United as of yet.
Amrabat might be the more solid option in a defensive sense as he will sit deep alongside McTominay but it&aposs easy to see that pairing getting caught in possession quite a lot. That leaves just one more alternative and that too is far from ideal.
In terms of ill-timed injuries, Kobbie Mainoo&aposs might have been one of the worst. He was just breaking into the first team last season when his campaign was ended early and then another injury in pre-season has meant he is yet to kick a ball for Ten Hag&aposs team. He has returned to fitness, at least, and put in minutes for the Under-21s but is it enough to go straight into starting matches?