One of the more tenable criticisms lodged against Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the indifference he has shown towards rotating his squad. The Red Devils have enviable depth in a number of positions but of late, Solskjaer has been too reliant on his starters.
He has banked on them to the point where they have been forced back into the side quite early from injury. It is a great disservice to the kind of talent that Manchester United have on the bench.
Manchester United squad depth to come in handy in second half of the season
As the season trudges on, the Red Devils will face more injury concerns like all teams. Solskjaer will do well to rotate the personnel available to him and make use of the depth that the squad has.
It is also necessary for underperforming players to be shown that unless they can maintain a high standard, they will end up facing a spell on the sidelines.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five players who deserve more opportunities at Manchester United.
#5 Alex Telles
Alex Telles‘ arrival at Manchester United certainly did something to bring the best out of Luke Shaw. The Englishman was in sublime form last season and was one of Manchester United’s best players. While Shaw was formidable defensively, he became a creative force in attack.
However, Shaw’s levels have dropped considerably in the 2021-22 season. Despite that, Manchester United’s backup option at left-back, Alex Telles, has struggled to get a look in. The Portuguese international has hardly had a steady run in the first team and it definitely looks like the team could use him now.
Perhaps the consistent pressure and criticism has worn Shaw down. He definitely looks like he needs some time to gather his bearings as he has been quite awful at times this term. Telles is a much better crosser than Shaw.
Players come to their own when they are getting minutes on a consistent basis. Shaw’s poor form ought to be reason enough to give Telles a run in the first team now.
#4 Dean Henderson
Towards the end of the 2020-21 season, Dean Henderson had become Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League. However, Henderson missed the opening weeks of the 2021-22 season through illness.
During that time, David de Gea turned in some impressive performances to earn back his place between the sticks. Even though the Spaniard has been impressive with his shot-stopping this term, recent performances have shown a worrying trend.
De Gea is too hesitant to come off his line and often remains rooted near his goalline. He made two poor calls against Atalanta in the 2-2 draw against the Serie A side and both resulted in goals.
De Gea used to excel in one-on-one situations. In recent seasons, his close range performance in one-on-one situations has been poor. This underperforming Manchester United backline also needs a goalkeeper who can command his area and can sweep behind them when need be.
De Gea is not good at either of those things and Henderson has too much quality to be sitting on their bench.