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Amad and four Manchester United academy players who could feature vs Wolves

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From the moment Manchester United booked their flights to Gdansk, there were three mini targets for the club to focus on before hopefully lifting the Europa League trophy.

You could, perhaps, argue it was four had they been able to delay Manchester City’s title win any longer.

Back to Old Trafford. In a season of a progression, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have liked United to have been able to push their neighbours all the way, a second-place finish marks improvement from the last campaign.

A first final, too, underlines that school of thought.

Beyond that confirmation, which came via a favourable result for Chelsea against Leicester City – gaining revenge on their FA Cup opponents – United would have simultaneously wanted to stay injury-free and offer opportunities to the next generation. In short, they can still do one of those things.

Fitness at such a stage in the calendar always comes under the microscope.

However, United really have had it rough in the build-up to Villarreal; Harry Maguire faces a race against time to be available for that one, while Fred and Scott McTominay have suffered further injury blows.

You have to feel in particular for McTominay, who progressed through the club’s famous academy ranks and, as yet, has been unable to match it with the silverware that comes as a pre-requisite at Old Trafford.

In a bid to prevent further set-backs, the upcoming season-finale at Wolves can’t come and go quick enough.

However, having already been offered a glimpse into the club’s future from the comfort of their homes, due to the now lifted restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, supporters could be handed another taste of what is to come in future years at Molineux.

Without those players above, January signing Amad and highly-rated academy prospects such as Hannibal Mejbri could be handed their latest chance to shine.

On the eve of jetting-off to Poland, you would expect Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford – among others – to be wrapped up in to cotton wool in order to prevent them suffering the same fate as Maguire.

In their would-be absence, it’s not unconceivable that Solskjaer could name Amad, Mejbri, Shola Shoretire, Will Fish and Anthony Elanga in his final matchday squad.

Let’s face it, the United manager has not been shy to make sweeping changes when the situation calls for it. This is, once again, one of those moments.

Each to varying degrees, those five players, with Elanga being the eldest at 19, have trained with the first-team this season and have been welcomed into the senior environment.

Until now, Solskjaer has been clever and calculated in that respect.

Dipping each of them in and out of his squad, particularly in the Europa League, they have seldom been utilised at the exact same time – that statement against the Premier League vs Leicester aside.

Now, though, it makes perfect sense to throw them all in the deep end.

While there is always pressure when pulling on a United shirt, the current circumstances – with second place in the bag, injuries and an upcoming European final – present Solskjaer and the next generation with no better opportunity to see how they all fare together.

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