Manchester United set to blood youngsters in final games, including Adnan Januzaj

The new champions play Arsenal this weekend

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to catapult Adnan Januzaj into his first-team squad after handing him the number 44 shirt for the remainder of the season.

With the Premier League title now secure, Ferguson will look to expose some of the younger members of the United staff to Premier League combat.

The 18-year-old midfielder is the latest promising Belgian to emerge in recent years and was snapped from Anderlecht in 2011.

Ferguson has already spoken of the progress Januzaj has made this season and it seems unlikely he would have been given a number without some plan to at least put him on the bench over the remaining four games.

Whether that actually extends to playing a significant role at Arsenal on Sunday remains open to debate.

As Ferguson has already set his team the target of eclipsing Chelsea's 95-point Premier League record, leaving senior players out of a match United have to win to retain any hope of it would seem bizarre.

And, whilst relations between Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have thawed considerably since the intense heat of their domestic rivalry started to ease a decade ago, the United manager's competitive instincts are unlikely to extend to Arsenal being offered a helping hand in their battle to retain a Champions League place.

In addition, there is the prospect of Robin van Persie making his first return to the Emirates Stadium and an Arsenal guard of honour to prompt the Red Devils chief into picking a strong team, even if changes may be made from Monday's win over Aston Villa.

That could potentially include the return from injury of skipper Nemanja Vidic and both Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick missing out.

"Two of the players - Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick - played with an injury throughout the [Villa] game," Ferguson told MUTV.

"I should have Nemanja and Rio (Ferdinand) back and I can put (Phil) Jones into the middle of the pitch, then we'll get the experience going to Arsenal.

"I desperately want a lot of younger players, the ones who have been on the fringes for the last few weeks, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Nani, to feel their contribution has been big.

"It's important to get them involved in the last few weeks."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue