Ten Hag explains thinking behind Hojlund and Reguilon decisions vs Arsenal

Manchester United are back in action before the Premier League is put on hold for two weeks to accommodate this month’s set of international fixtures.

Having recorded six points from a possible nine so far this season, United now face a difficult test by way of a trip to the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal looking to challenge for the league title again.

Ten Hag has been dealt a number of heavy injury blows this season, with Mason Mount and Raphael Varane among the first-team regulars to miss out on the game.

He has, however, welcomed Rasmus Hojlund to the squad for the first time as the Danish international was named on the bench after a full week of training.

Another three summer signings were named on the bench, with Altay Bayindir, Jonny Evans and Sergio Reguilon all making the squad. Reguilon was a deadline-day arrival following serious injuries to both Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag has explained some of the thinking behind the decision to make Reguilon and Hojlund wait for their debuts.

“We’re really looking forward to this,” the Dutchman told MUTV, via the Manchester Evening News.

“It’s a top game and we have to be good, we know that, but we like those challenges and we have to rise to the occasion. This line-up has been successful many times.

“Sergio is just in, one team training, and Rasmus Hojlund has had one week of training, but he doesn’t have game practice so far with us this season. It’s best to start on the bench and he can come on. He’s really hungry.

“That’s what we saw in his character when we scouted him. We are sure he will contribute, but it’s not about 11 players, it’s about the squad. As a club we have to deal with injuries and Arsenal have good players.

“It’s all about taking the three points.”

A win over Mikel Arteta’s side would see United move ahead of the Gunners and it would set a certain mood going into the international break – something Ten Hag will be stressing to his players.

A second defeat in four games could seriously harm the atmosphere at the club and considering last season’s disastrous start, Ten Hag knows the complications that come with a slow start.

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