Manchester United set to blood youngsters in final games, including Adnan Januzaj
The new champions play Arsenal this weekend
Friday 26 April 2013
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."
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Latest in Sport
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 2 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- 5 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories