Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will not be following in the footsteps of Arsenal as he attempts to return his players from World Cup mode to the task at hand in his Old Trafford rebuild. There are 11 United players remaining in action in Qatar with less than two weeks until club football returns, but none can expect time off once their international duty concludes.
Ten Hag has sent a 29-man squad to Spain for a warm-weather training camp as preparations for the Carabao Cup match against Burnley on December 21, three days after the World Cup final, build up. He now has 11 senior players on his team, but he expects that number to expand quickly.
Ten Hag told MUTV that United’s stars are aware that they will be expected to return promptly following World Cup elimination. “We made the players aware that once you are out of the World Cup, you have to return to the club and the league immediately resumes,” he stated.
“You have to be prepared for that [being prepared for the league], but I believe our players are adapted to it.” Our guys are champions, and they are competing for the World Cup right now, and they must deal with the fact that they are out – hopefully one is the winner – for the time being.”
Ten Hag’s approach is diametrically opposed to Arsenal’s. According to Express Sport, the Gunners have already given Thomas Partey and Matt Turner time off following their World Cup exits.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has also announced his intention to use the option, while Granit Xhaka has decided to rejoin his teammates in Dubai immediately.
Only Christian Eriksen (Denmark), Hannibal (Tunisia), and Facundo Pellistri (Uruguay) were eliminated from the group stage out of the 14 United players picked to represent their countries in the Middle East this winter.
Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford (England), Casemiro, Fred, Antony (Brazil), Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), Raphael Varane (France), Tyrell Malacia (Netherlands), and Lisandro Martinez (Argentina) are still in contention.
United will also play a friendly against Real Betis on Saturday before returning to Carrington to rejoin any players who are eliminated from the World Cup in the quarterfinals.
Axel Tuanzebe and Jadon Sancho have yet to be reintegrated into Ten Hag’s squad as part of separate training programs.
After hosting Burnley in the Carabao Cup on December 21, United will host Nottingham Forest in their first Premier League game back on December 27 at Old Trafford before traveling to Wolves on December 31. Ten Hag hopes to have a full-strength group by the end of the season.