David de Gea previews first summer tour since 2019

Manchester United’s pre-season preparations are well underway, with the club’s non-international players returning to training earlier this week.

Erik ten Hag oversaw his first week of training in Manchester as he assembled a mixed squad full of experience and youth before the complete senior team is available next week.

United jet off to Thailand on July 18, with fixtures in Bangkok and Melbourne on the agenda for the first overseas pre-season since 2019.

Pre-season was kept domestically last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the year before had no preparations for the same reason, with the most recent tour also being in Asia.

With no international tournament this summer, Ten Hag has the perfect opportunity to drill his players with fresh ideas and forge a bond within the squad.

David de Gea, United’s ever-present figure between the goalposts, has commented on the importance on the tour and insisted that he’s looking forward to it.

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“I think it’s great to be able to travel first and be able to play in front of fans, especially away from England, around the world,” he is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.

“It’s always great to be with the fans and try to make them enjoy [the experience]. It’s been tough years with the Covid situation so to be able to travel around the world and be with our fans, I think it is going to be very, very nice.

“We can’t wait, the whole team.”

SN’s verdict…
Ten Hag will be eager to get his players into shape ahead of a challenging season but perhaps above all else, he will be desperate to introduce fresh faces to the squad.

The club is advancing with a deal to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, who could yet be on the plane to Thailand on Friday. Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia is also closing in on a deal, whilst the pursuit of Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez remains active.

Ten Hag will name his squad for the tour next week and fans can expect a mixture of senior and academy players, with Alejandro Garnacho, Ethan Laird and James Garner among those tipped to break into the first team this season.

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