“We always have issues” – Erik ten Hag provides fitness update on 2 Manchester United defenders ahead of FA Cup game


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted that his side always have issues when providing an injury update on Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw. The defensive duo’s availability for the Red Devils’ clash with Reading in the FA Cup (January 28) is in doubt.

Ten Hag was asked about the pair’s fitness ahead of the EFL Championship encounter in the FA Cup’s fourth round. He replied (via the club’s official website):

“We always have issues, but I think tomorrow, we have a strong selection for this game. We have a good squad, we have depth in the squad, so we can cover things.”

Ten Hag has confirmed that Dalot will definitely miss the clash with Reading, but that might not be the case for Shaw. There are question marks over the English left-back being available. He added:

“Dalot definitely out, and I think also Shaw [is] a question mark. We have to see after this training session, after this day, if he [Shaw] is available or not.”

Dalot has been sidelined with a hamstring problem he picked up in United’s 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup on January 10. The Portuguese right-back missed his side’s 2-1 win over Manchester City, 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, 3-2 defeat to Arsenal and 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Shaw has been dealing with illness and missed the 3-0 win over Forest at the City Ground in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (January 25). He has been vital for the Red Devils this season, but the FA Cup tie with Reading may be the sort of match that Ten Hag can allow the Englishman to miss.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka came in as Dalot’s replacement and has performed admirably in his absence. It had seemed that the former Crystal Palace right-back was heading out of Manchester United earlier this month. Yet, he has earned plaudits for improvements shown under Ten Hag.

Meanwhile, Tyrell Malacia is filling in for Shaw, and his arrival last summer has worked wonders for Ten Hag’s side in terms of strength in depth. The young Dutch defender may expect to start against Reading.

Jadon Sancho may return to the Manchester United first-team against Reading

Jadon Sancho has been back in Manchester United's team training.
Jadon Sancho has been back in Manchester United’s team training.

Sancho is back in team training after spending time away from the squad. He underwent individual training in the Netherlands under the discretion of Ten Hag during the FIFA World Cup break.

The last time the English attacker appeared for Manchester United was in the side’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea in late October. It has been a difficult time for Sancho at Old Trafford since his £74 million move from Borussia Dortmund in 2021.

🚨 NEW | Erik ten Hag on if Sancho will be in Man Utd’s squad to face Reading: “He is training with the team, and we will see.”Sancho back? 👀 https://t.co/1XtnuskiId

He has scored eight goals and contributed four assists in 52 games since arriving in northeast England. The young winger’s potential return to the first team will be a welcome boost as Ten Hag’s side are still competing in four competitions.

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