The annual pre-season tour usually offers an opportunity for youngsters to shine and make their name for Manchester United – that certainly has been the case over the years.
There’s an added twist this summer. Erik ten Hag is overseeing his first pre-season in charge of United and the Dutchman could have been forgiven for wanting to test his first-team regulars before anyone else.
That hasn’t been the case and several younger players have been afforded the chance to impress Ten Hag, with none more so than midfielder Zidane Iqbal.
The 19-year-old has played the second halves of both United fixtures this summer and his performances have earned him heaps of praise on social media.
Following the 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory, which ensured a perfect start to their pre-season, Iqbal admitted that there’s a ‘good vibe’ around the club.
“There is definitely a good vibe around the team,” Iqbal is quoted as saying by The Guardian. “It is a new manager, early doors, but the ideas he has given us, two good results, everyone is happy in training.
“Everyone is giving 100% which is the best kind of atmosphere.”
United are yet to fill the gaping hole left in midfield left by the departing Nemanja Matic and Iqbal has the perfect chance to prove that perhaps there isn’t an urgent need to scour the market for a specialist in that area.
That’s where Ten Hag has deployed him for the first two games and his performances certainly warrant a start in the next game against Crystal Palace.
United have four more pre-season games to play before the Premier League curtain-raiser against Brighton. If Iqbal continues to perform as he has, he will fancy his chances of featuring against Graham Potter’s side.