Man United Crocks XI
Young Manchester United striker James Wilson hobbled off during Monday’s under-21s match with Spurs to become the club’s eleventh player in the treatment room.
We’ve put together a team of United’s current injuries, which goes some way to explaining their recent inconsistent form.
Keeper – Sam Johnstone
While the 21-year-old keeper has yet to make a first-team appearance for United, his elbow injury has limited the club to three fit goalkeepers. While he’s unlikely to usurp David de Gea from a starting berth anytime soon, he’s well respected at Old Trafford and his successful loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last season showed signs that he can be a top keeper.
Jones’ injury travails have hampered the former Blackburn Rovers defender’s career at United. He was once tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson as having the potential to become United’s greatest ever player but his latest hamstring injury has limited him to just one first-team appearance this season.
Evans’ ankle injury is expected to keep him out of action for another few weeks, at a time when United are desperate for experience at centre-back. Following the departures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, Evans is now United’s most experienced defender with 115 appearances for the club.
While he may be much-maligned by a section of United fans, his standing at the club is epitomised by their refusal to countenance his departure to Arsenal as part of a deal for Thomas Vermaelen. He is expected back soon from a hip injury and his return will be welcomed by Louis van Gaal, who has been forced to use the inexperienced Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair in central defence.
While he’s yet to make a competitive start for United, the 20-year-old defender impressed van Gaal on the club’s pre-season tour of the States. While his loss will not be as keenly felt as that of his fellow injured defenders, he nevertheless faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines
It’s probably fair to say that Young’s absence with a groin injury is not exactly lamented by the Old Trafford faithful. He performed adequately at left-back in pre-season but the arrival of left-sided defenders Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw have probably put an end to his future deployment in that position.
Fellaini’s due to return imminently from an ankle injury and, with Ander Herrera also on the treatment table, he may have an opportunity to impress van Gaal in the first team. He has a disappointing first season at the club, but the new manager is renowned for transforming previously maligned players.
Carrick’s long-term injury has been the most keenly felt at the club, at least until the arrival of Herrera and Blind. With the former now injured, Carrick’s imminent return can’t come too soon for van Gaal. However, due to the injury crisis in defence, the England midfielder may be used as a stopgap in central defence, a position he played in during Ferguson’s era.
The Spanish midfielder had been arguably United’s most impressive new signing until a fractured rib ruled him out of action for the foreseeable future. United have refused to confirm how long Herrera will be out, merely stating that they’ll assess the situation over “the next few weeks:.
The 21-year-old surprisingly started the first league game of the van Gaal era and was impressive, before limping off with a knee injury after just 24 minutes. The young midfielder faces an extended spell on the sidelines – and a lot more competition for a starting place upon his return with the subsequent arrival of Angel di Maria.
There are high hopes for the 18-year-old striker at Old Trafford, epitomised by the fact that the club were willing to allow Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck leave in the transfer window. He scored two goals on his league debut under the stewardship of Ryan Giggs last season, and Wayne Rooney’s suspension would have offered him an opportunity of further first-team action before picking up a knock on Monday.