During the international break, three Manchester United players can direct Erik ten Hag’s attention.

Many of Manchester United’s regular first-team players are away competing for their nations, but those on the periphery can use the opportunity to win over the boss.

The next week will see several of Manchester United’s key players abroad on international duty, but the work never stops at Carrington.

Erik ten Hag waived off the most of his usual starters from Manchester Airport at the beginning of the week, so he will be working with a skeleton squad for the next several days. The Dutchman will keep an eye on all of the games in which his players are participating and ensure that they are successful.

In that regard, he will be relieved to learn that Rasmus Hojlund won’t be required to play the whole 90 minutes while representing Denmark. Goals from players like Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes will also be welcomed.

But as players from around the world try to win Ten Hag over from a distance, many of United’s supporting cast members stay considerably closer to home. Given that there is less competition to stand out, training during the next four days will be an opportunity to create an impression as well as to keep the blood flowing.

Jadon Sancho is the one who wants to stand out the most. Sancho was not included in the team for the 3-1 loss at Arsenal last Saturday, and Ten Hag criticized the winger for what he claimed were his subpar workout efforts.

A social media post from Sancho’s response, which is still pinned to his X profile, claimed he was being used as a scapegoat. Sancho said he would like to deliver a more encouraging message while in training. If they haven’t already, he and Ten Hag are likely to have a conversation.

The fact that the 23-year-old is still a United player and will be until at least January now that the transfer market is closed says that Ten Hag values his ability set. He played the most minutes throughout preseason. Now might be the perfect time to stake out a position with players like Marcus Rashford, Antony, Alejandro Garnacho, and Facundo Pellistri all absent.

Even more unexpected was Ten Hag’s choice to criticize Sancho in light of his steadfast defense of Anthony Martial. The French international has started both of United’s recent matches up front and has been absolutely useless on both occasions. Hojlund made more of an impression against Arsenal in his 23 minutes of substitution time.

One would anticipate Hojlund to return to club football in top form after accruing more playing time while serving his country. However, Ten Hag is careful not to overload the 20-year-old too soon and has been careful not to rush him. Martial is still a part of United’s season-long ambitions, but if he is to contribute in any way, he must regain some semblance of match sharpness.

Due to the fact that he did not play in last week’s loss to Arsenal as a substitute, Sergio Reguilon is yet to create an impression at his new team. Due to Luke Shaw’s injury, Ten Hag were left without a senior left-back, therefore the 26-year-old was brought in on a temporary loan.

Diogo Dalot was transferred to the Emirates but is absent due to Portugal’s international commitments, which should provide Reguilon the opportunity to establish himself in practice before the match against Brighton the following weekend. The former Tottenham player will still need to perform well in practice this week because Ten Hag did not sign an experienced left-back to sit on the bench.

Depending on when their final international match is, United’s first-team regulars will begin to play again in the middle of the week. There is no better moment to win over the boss than over the next few days when Ten Hag will have the opportunity to evaluate those on the periphery.






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