Man Utd Team News: van Gaal Confirms Double Injury Boost + Shaw Update
Louis van Gaal has confirmed a double injury boost ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Southampton this weekend while he’s also given an update on Luke Shaw.
Manchester United will look to keep pace at the top of the Premier League when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, Louis van Gaal has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference and gave ManUtd.com a team news and injury update.
The Dutchman gave an update on the situation surrounding Luke Shaw after the defender was ruled out for at least six months after suffering a double leg break during Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven.
Shaw underwent surgery straight after the game and van Gaal has admitted that while the defender is in good spirits, it’s a huge blow for the club to lose the left-back for such a prolonged period of time.
The 20-year-old had started the season in fine form but now he faces a long battle to get himself fit again for the closing stages of the season, and to prove his fitness ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
There was some positive news as van Gaal also confirmed that Wayne Rooney is expected to return to the starting eleven after recovering from a minor knock that’s kept him out of the last two matches against Liverpool and PSV.
Phil Jones is also back in full training after a mild case of thrombosis but the centre-back is still short of match fitness so is unlikely to make the trip to Southampton this weekend.
Van Gaal told the clubs website:
“I have to admit he was strong and firm. It was different to the day before, so I was happy with that. But of course he knows that it is a long way to go for him. The operation was a good operation but nearly all the operations are always good. We have to wait and see how long it takes.
“My speaking about the subject gives him spirit. All the players, all of his colleagues, have called him and that’s maybe not good [if he needs to rest]. I texted him to say I’d call him later because rest is also important for the recovery. Of course, we have a fantastic doctor and medical department.
“We sent people to the Netherlands to take care of the travelling when he’s coming back. We have to take care of that and also of his family because his family is there. That is also great support for him. The main thing is how the development of the rehabilitation shall go.”
“It’s a great loss. I have said in advance of this season already that it shall be the season of Luke Shaw. He had started fantastically and everybody had seen that. It is a great miss, a great loss.
“You have to build up again a combination with the player in front of him. Memphis and Shaw were a very good combination and now you have to build up a new combination. You have to start again and that is difficult. It’s also difficult for the player who has to replace him.”
On Rooney and Jones:
“Wayne is fit to play. He’s only had one week out. It was because we weren’t taking any risks with him. Phil Jones has come back and trained with the group for the first time. He’s not match fit but he’s fit to train. Only Luke Shaw is injured.”
With Rooney back in the starting eleven it will be interesting to see whether van Gaal starts him as a lone striker or plays him in the No.10 role behind Anthony Martial.
With Shaw out for the foreseeable future, van Gaal also has a tough decision to make over who will play at left-back. Marcos Rojo is probably the favourite but Ashley Young and Daley Blind are other options so we’ll have to see who the United boss goes with.
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