Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag won’t be taking a leaf out of Arsenal’s book as he looks to reset his players from World Cup mode back to the task at hand in his Old Trafford rebuild. With under two weeks left until club football returns, there are still 11 United players in action in Qatar, but none can expect time off once their international duty ends.
Ten Hag has taken a 29-man squad to Spain for a warm-weather training camp as preparations ramp up ahead of the Carabao Cup clash against Burnley on December 21, three days after the World Cup final. He currently has 11 senior players within his ranks but expects that number to grow imminently.
Speaking to MUTV, Ten Hag explained that United’s stars know they are expected to return immediately after World Cup elimination. He said: “We made the players aware of the fact that after you are out of the World Cup, you have to return to the club and the league immediately goes on.
“You have to be ready for that [be ready for the league], but I think our players are used to it. Our players are winners, and they are battling now for the World Cup, and in the moment they are out – hopefully one is the winner – they have to deal with that.”
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Ten Hag’s approach is the contrast to Arsenal’s. Express Sport understands the Gunners have already granted Thomas Partey and Matt Turner a period of rest and recovery after their World Cup exits.
Takehiro Tomiyasu has also confirmed he plans to take up the option, while Granit Xhaka has decided to link back up with his team-mates in Dubai immediately.
Of the 14 United players chosen to represent their nations in the Middle East this winter, only Christian Eriksen (Denmark), Hannibal (Tunisia) and Facundo Pellistri (Uruguay) suffered group-stage exits.
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 all still in with a chance of lifting the illustrious gold.
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