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Manchester United's Pre-Season Tour Player Ratings: Anthony Martial And Jadon Sancho Shine

Matthew O'Hara

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Manchester United's Pre-Season Tour Player Ratings: Anthony Martial And Jadon Sancho Shine

The Manchester United pre-season tour has concluded for another year with Erik ten Hag getting his career as Red Devil’s manager underway.

Traveling from Thailand to Australia, Manchester United kicked off their preparations for the 2022/23 season with a number of matches in-front of our global fanbase. 

Erik ten Hag ended his first MU tour unbeaten, despite facing some formidable Premier League opponents. 

Here is how UtdDistrict rated the Red’s performances on the 2022 pre-season tour:

Goalkeepers

David de Gea - 6/10

Following the loan departure of Dean Henderson earlier in the transfer window, Ten Hag has backed David de Gea as his first-choice goalkeeper. Throughout the tour the Spaniard has been forced to adapt to his new manager's style of play which requires the man between the sticks to play with the ball at his feet.

De Gea in the tour matches has shown his shot-stopping skills but wasn’t particularly tested. However, when questions were asked of the keeper, he did make some mistakes. One for Crystal Palace’s goal in Melbourne and Aston Villa’s equalizer in Perth.

David de Gea against Aston Villa in pre-season. (Man Utd)
David de Gea against Aston Villa in pre-season. (Man Utd)

David De Gea will undoubtedly be an important player for United this season but will have to continue to prove his worth to Erik Ten Hag and cut out the mistakes.

Tom Heaton - 7/10

Made a substitute appearance in the first tour game against Liverpool and kept a clean sheet and started against Melbourne Victory in the first game at the MCG and conceded an unfortunate goal. Will be a good back-up option for Ten Hag next season. 

Defenders

Tyrell Malacia - 7/10

The only new signing in the Manchester United pre-season and showed why Ten Hag chose to bring him in from Feyenoord. Positive on the ball when he was on the pitch and showed glimpses of his potential, also showed his attacking qualities during the build-up for Anthony Martial’s goal against Crystal Palace.

Malacia will provide good competition for Luke Shaw next season and will only get better as his United career progresses. 

Luke Shaw - 7/10

After a stellar 2019/20 campaign, Luke Shaw’s form took a nose-dive last season with the English full-back struggling for form. However, on the United tour Shaw looks to be getting back to his best, with a particularly impressive showing in the first-half of the final tour game against Aston Villa where he linked well with Marcus Rashford.

Both Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia have performed well in pre-season. (Alamy)
Both Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia have performed well in pre-season. (Alamy)

Shaw showed his worth to United when they went forward, teeing up Jadon Sancho for the opener against the Villans in Perth. In a Ten Hag system where attacking full-backs are essential, he will have to continue showing his attacking qualities.

With the arrival of Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw will have to bring his A-game next season to continue to justify to Erik ten Hag that he should be Manchester United’s first-choice left-back.

Alex Telles - 6/10

Traditionally a left-back, the Brazilian was deployed in a number of different positions throughout the tour. Played as a make-shift centre-half in our first three matches when he was brought on and did not look comfortable doing so but was deployed as a defensive midfielder against Aston Villa and looked okay.

Potentially could be a good squad player for Ten Hag but will most likely be looking for a move away from the club after the arrival of Tyrell Malacia. 

Ethan Laird - 6/10

After successive championship loans Laird gave a positive account of himself on the tour. Looked good against Melbourne Victory but struggled to have the same impact in the Crystal Palace game. Rumoured to be a transfer target for Ajax, and another loan move would be the best thing for his career.

Harry Maguire - 6/10

A mixed pre-season tour for the captain that has garnered drastically different opinions from United fans. Maguire all-in-all gave a good account of himself and showed his capability to play in a high-line and with a lot of the ball at his feet.

However, despite these positives he did still make a few mistakes, namely for Melbourne Victory’s goal and he did revert at times to the long diagonal passes that were a feature of Solskjaer’s time as manager.

Harry Maguire leads Manchester United out against Melbourne Victory. (Alamy)
Harry Maguire leads Manchester United out against Melbourne Victory. (Alamy)

Still room for improvement but with a potential partnership with new signing Lisandro Martinez on the horizon, it could be a good season for Harry Maguire.

Victor Lindelof - 6/10

With the arrival of Lisandro Martinez, the opportunities for Lindelof could be limited in the new season, but in the pre-season the Swede looked comfortable at centre-half in Ten Hag’s team. However, Lindelof did struggle at times when forced into one-on-one situations, with Leon Bailey isolating the defender for his goal against the Red Devils in Perth.

A decent tour for Lindelof and will most likely be a rotation player for Erik Ten Hag.

Will Fish - 5/10

Unfortunate tour for Will Fish, who was left out of the initial tour squad but was flown out by Ten Hag as another option at centre-half after Axel Tuanzebe had to drop out. Fish only featured in the game against Crystal Palace and picked up a red card for a professional foul. One to forget for the academy lad.

Raphael Varane - 6/10

The French defender’s tour was hampered by injuries, but in the games he did play in he gave a mixed account of himself. Nobody can deny the qualities of this World Cup winner and he can definitely be a starting defender for Manchester United, he just needs to stay fit. 

Eric Bailly - 7/10

Showed his worth on the tour whenever he played. Bailly possesses a calmness and volatility that somehow meld together to make him a formidable defender when he gets it right. Defended on the tour with his trademark flamboyance and if he stays fit he could be a good squad player for Erik ten Hag.

Diogo Dalot - 8/10 

Erik Ten Hag has backed Dalot as his starting right-back on the tour as he looks to implement a playing style that involves attacking full-backs. Routinely gave a good account of himself and showed his attacking prowess with an impressive assist for Anthony Martial when we played Crystal Palace. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 6/10

Looks to have been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United by Erik ten Hag. He played well when he featured but it seems to be a farewell tour for “the spider”.

Midfielders

Fred - 8/10 

Started off his pre-season tour with a coolly taken goal against Liverpool and continued to show his worth to Erik ten Hag’s side as the tour progressed.

Showed tenacity in his defending and creativity in his attacking play, particularly in his pass through to Jadon Sancho in the torrential rain in Perth which set-up the second goal against Aston Villa.

Regardless of the midfield reinforcements that could arrive this summer, Fred has a chance to make himself a staple of Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United revolution.

Scott McTominay - 6/10

Another player whose tour was hampered by injury but when he did feature he played with his trademark grittiness and determination. Sparked the comeback against Melbourne Victory with his deflected shot and was solid in United’s midfield.

Some fans will question whether Scott McTominay has the technical ability to play in a Ten Hag team but regardless of the view of the United faithful, it is clear that McTominay will be a useful option for the Dutch manager in the new season.

Donny van de Beek - 6/10

With the arrival of Erik ten Hag, United fans have expected to see a rejuvenation of Donny van de Beek’s career with the Dutch midfielder finally getting his chance in the Red Devils squad. However, the 2022 tour for Van de Beek was average at best.

Donny van de Beek against Crystal Palace. (Man Utd)
Donny van de Beek against Crystal Palace. (Man Utd)

He made substitute appearances in the first few games before getting the nod in the final tour game against Villa due to a McTominay injury. During the tour Ten Hag proclaimed that he knew how to get the best out of his former Ajax player but his performances on the pitch were nothing spectacular.

In glimpses Van de Beek showed the deftness of touch and technical prowess that he is known for but in reality he is a player lacking confidence and match minutes, something he will hope he will get plenty of next season.

Bruno Fernandes - 7/10

After a mixed 2021/22 campaign for Fernandes, he finally looks to be back at his best and is showing signs of excelling under Erik ten Hag. Playing in his trademark No.10 role throughout the tour, the Portuguese midfielder looked like a player reborn with his passing seeming more disciplined whilst his creativity still shone through.

Fernandes will no doubt want to continue operating at his best to wave off competition from new signing Christian Eriksen but alongside the Dane, Fernandes could be a very influential figure at Manchester United in the upcoming season.

James Garner - 7/10

After a fruitful loan spell at Nottingham Forest which saw the midfielder help Steve Cooper’s side secure promotion back to the Premier League, Garner was forced to sit on the side-lines for the majority of the tour with an injury.

However in the final game of the tour against Aston Villa he made a positive cameo as a substitute and showed his capabilities.

It's yet to be seen what will happen with the young midfielder in the transfer window with another loan spell certainly on the cards, but what is clear is that United have got a talented midfielder prospect in their ranks.

Hannibal Mejbri - 6/10

Made two substitute appearances during the tour after catching the eye of Erik ten Hag in the Red Devil’s training sessions. In these cameos he showed off his trademark aggression and intensity but also his technical ability.

A good showing on tour from the young Tunisian. However, first team minutes could be restricted next season with a loan for the youth prospect looking the most likely outcome.

Zidane Iqbal - 7/10 

A star is born. Gave a great account of himself during the pre-season tour with an excellent performance against Liverpool in the club’s opener in Bangkok. Certainly one to watch for the future due to his quick-feet and technical prowess but could find game-time hard to come by next season.

Charlie Savage - 7/10 

Another youngster who caught the eye during the tour. Played exceptionally well against Liverpool in Thailand and throughout the other games showed off his impressive passing range and ability to play as a deep-lying midfielder.

He could also benefit from a loan spell to accelerate his exciting development.  

Forwards

Marcus Rashford - 8/10 

Scored two goals in four games on the tour and showed glimpses of the star that we all know he is. Under Ten Hag Rashford can only benefit and develop, and looks to be forming a formidable partnership with Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho.

He took his goals well and played with his head up, playing in some dangerous crosses from the left, with one that should have been converted by Martial in the Crystal Palace game.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho

The English forward also linked up well with Luke Shaw but at times in the Aston Villa game but at times reverted to taking on the speculative shots that he was criticized for last season. A massive season coming up for Marcus Rashford.

Anthony Martial - 9/10 

What a reintroduction to Manchester United.

In the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and off the back of a disastrous loan spell at Sevilla, Anthony Martial showed that he is ready to step up for the Red Devils under Erik ten Hag.

The French forward found the net three times in the four tour games and showed a killer instinct that has been missing from his game for some time. A clever dink over Alisson in Bangkok kicked off things for Martial with other goals being a product of his intelligent movement and striker's instincts.

If Anthony Martial can maintain his form he will no doubt be a real asset for Manchester United in the 2022/23 season.

Jadon Sancho - 8/10 

Impressive tour showing from the United right-winger. Sancho is undeniably benefitting from playing under Erik ten Hag who has given him more attacking freedom. Bagging three goals in four games, Sancho showed the clinical finishing, technical skill and creativity that he was perhaps lacking last year.

What is clear is that Jadon Sancho is one to watch this season for Manchester United as he looks to be justifying the money they spent on him last summer.

Tahith Chong - 6/10 

After a season hampered by injury, Tahith Chong was perhaps a surprise inclusion on the MU tour but in his appearances he gave a decent account of himself.

Showed excellent pace to set up United’s fourth goal against Melbourne Victory but apart from this he did struggle to establish himself in the games he played. Could be an option for Ten Hag next season but it looks like he may be headed for a move away from the club.

Anthony Elanga - 6/10

A favorite of Ralf Rangnick, Elanga was a victim of the success of the United front three as when he made his appearances during the tour he was always chasing the standards set by the Manchester United starters.

Boasted his lightning pace in spells but still looks like a player that has room for improvement. Will be a good squad player for Ten Hag next season.

Facundo Pellistri - 6/10

Scored in United’s opener against Liverpool but apart from this did not make too much of an impact on the tour. A player in desperate need of a loan move. 

Credit: Manchester United/Facundo Pellistri on IG
Credit: Manchester United/Facundo Pellistri on IG

Amad Diallo - 6/10

Combined well with Facundo Pellistri for United’s fourth goal in Thailand against Liverpool and in his other appearances on the tour he looked, not surprisingly, comfortable on the ball. Another player who will benefit from a loan move where he can get regular minutes.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, Football

Matthew O'Hara
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