Manchester United completed the arrivals of two players this week, with Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez finally putting pen to paper on three and five-year contracts respectively.
United announced agreements to sign both players earlier this month but formal confirmation didn’t come until this week and now, they have already made their debuts.
As part of Erik ten Hag’s pre-season preparations, a behind-closed-doors friendly was arranged with fifth-tier side Wrexham at Carrington.
United won the game 4-1, according to the Manchester Evening News, and Eriksen scored his first goal in Red. Martinez also featured in the game – just an hour after the club had confirmed his arrival. Eriksen’s strike is believed to be from a direct free-kick.
Alejandro Garnacho, Amad Diallo and Alex Telles also scored for United, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford in attendance to watch the game.
Ten Hag named a 31-man squad for their tour of Thailand and Australia and understandably, not everyone was offered the chance to regain their fitness.
Garnacho, who returned to the club earlier than expected after enjoying a breakout season last year, didn’t feature once and it’s wise to arrange these friendlies to build up their conditioning.
The Argentina starlet is still likely to be part of Ten Hag’s plans going forward – even if pre-season didn’t go according to plan. After all, the new United boss will be focused on drilling his first-team regulars before anything else. Friendlies in private will also allow Ten Hag to decide on which players he should loan out for valuable first-team experience.
Eriksen scoring straight away is encouraging and so is Martinez featuring. United fans will hope to see both players in action this weekend against either Atletico Madrid or Rayo Vallecano. The latter are United’s final opponents before the Premier League curtain-raiser against Brighton next week.