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Fans think Erik ten Hag should give Zidane Iqbal more minutes after running show for Iraq vs. Russia

Fans think Erik ten Hag should give Zidane Iqbal more minutes after running show for Iraq vs. Russia

Zidane Iqbal is being praised by Man Utd fans for his performance against Russia on Sunday.

Manchester United fans have urged Erik ten Hag to give Zidane Iqbal more first-team minutes at Old Trafford after he produced a "special" performance for Iraq in their friendly defeat to Russia.

The 19-year-old midfielder has not made a competitive appearance for United since his debut in December 2021, when he came off the bench against Young Boys in the Champions League group stage.

He has been an unused sub in 14 senior matchday squads under Erik ten Hag – a nod to his undeniable potential – but fans are convinced he should be handed more time on the pitch after seeing his outing against Russia.

Iqbal was handed a place in Iraq's starting line-up by manager Jesus García and he repaid that faith with a wonderful performance in the middle of the park.

As you can see from the footage above, Iqbal looks extremely comfortable in and out of possession. He isn't afraid to take on players, either, using his impressive close control to get past opponents.

A compilation of his performance soon went viral on social media, with many fans pointing to his lack of game time at United.

One said: "There must be a reason why this boy is not playing for United. Footballing ability is definitely not it because he’s very good," while another commented: "If he was in Ligue 1, he would have had 100 appearances by now."

A third wrote: "I can't see any reason why he can't start ahead of Fred and McTominay. He's miles better than them. Our own Frenkie De Jong."

A fourth said: "Sick of saying it but his profile is one either Erik should've gave more minutes to, especially in games with more leeway, or should have loaned out in Jan. 4/4 dribbles completed against 37th ranked euros regulars Russia, his talent is undeniable and he's grown out of the U21s."

A fifth added: "I really don't know why Ten Hag isn't playing my man."

Iqbal's lack of first-team action for Manchester United this season has understandably raised eyebrows after Erik ten Hag's telling thoughts emerged in pre-season.

A source told The Sun last summer: "A lot of the younger players have been in the training sessions, too. He has been impressed with Iqbal and wonders why he has not featured more.

"Ten Hag is trying to tell the senior players that their positions are up for grabs, too. If they work hard, the players willing to carry out his instructions will take the first-team spots.

"Everyone has stepped up their game and it’s creating healthy competition."

Do you think Iqbal deserves more first-team minutes after an impressive performance on the international stage?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@IraqXtra

Topics: Manchester United, Zidane Iqbal, Erik Ten Hag, Russia