MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick almost has a full squad ahead of the English Premier League clash against Newcastle on Monday after COVID-19 caused their two matches to be delayed.
Only the injured Paul Pogba could not be named by the interim manager for the Red Devils’ first game in 16 days.
The match between United against Brentford and Brighton is among 12 English Premier League matches that have had to be postponed over the past two weeks following a surge in the COVID-19 case.
“Our last training session only had eight outfielders and three goalkeepers. Then we had to close the training ground to break the chain.
“Today is the third day of training this week and we have 25 outfield players. Only Paul Pogba is not involved, the others are all there,” Rangnick said.
Rangnick said the majority of those infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, allowing them to stay fit while training from home.
The density of the schedule due to the postponement of some matches raises concerns regarding the welfare of the players.
Rangnick backed the proposal of Liverpool managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola from Manchester City who want five player exchanges to be reintroduced. It was done at the end of the 2019-20 season when the league resumed after a three-month break due to a pandemic.
The English Premier League is among some of Europe’s top leagues returning to the three-exchange rule after the COVID-19 threat subsided.
“I think it was the right decision to have more player switching options to save their energy, especially for those just recovering from COVID-19,” he said.