Jesse Lingard Jersey

Jesse Lingard has told Manchester United fans to expect to see more of their youngsters next year.

Jesse Lingard with Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong.

Manchester United are set to enter a new era under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has made it clear he wants to focus on developing young players into stars.

The signing of Daniel James from Swansea City and the interest in Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff are evidence of this but there is also likely to be more football for the young talents already at the club.

Involvement in the Europa League may provide that opportunity for the likes of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, who have been identified by Jesse Lingard as players to watch out for next season.

The England international, who himself worked his way through United’s academy, has revealed he expects young talents like the aforementioned trio to earn more opportunities in 2019/20.

“I definitely think you’ll see more of the kids next season. It will be more of the crop that have been involved – Mason, Gomes, Chong… Those that have played are really exciting. They can give the fans energy, and the team can feed off that,” Lingard told BT Sport.

“Everyone wants there to be a mix. But we need to get the right players around the young players so they can perform. I’m sure Solskjaer will be looking to do that and of course the young players are all part of his plans.”

Gomes, United’s youngest-ever player, joined the club at the age of six, while Chong has shown flashes of brilliance on the right flanks of United’s attack and Greenwood made his debut in the Champions League, earning a first start on the final day of last season.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan Jersey

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out of Arsenal's Europa League final squad.

Arsenal’s Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out of the English club’s Europa League final squad amid concerns for his safety in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have a century-long conflict stemming from the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917 and there were fears Mkhitaryan would not be safe in Baku.

The London club said it was “disappointed” to announce the midfielder would not travel with the squad for the May 29 final against English Premier League rivals Chelsea, but made the final decision after discussions with him and his family.

Arsenal confirmed it has written to UEFA, European football’s governing body, to express its “deep concerns”.

“Micki [Mkhitaryan] has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective,” read a club statement.

“We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career.

“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored six goals in 25 English Premier League appearances.

Mkhitaryan, who won the Europa League with Manchester United in 2017, tweeted that to miss the final against Chelsea “hurt a lot.”

In response, UEFA said in a statement: “Working alongside Arsenal FC, UEFA sought and received assurances regarding the player’s safety in Azerbaijan from the highest authorities in the country.

“As a result of these guarantees, a comprehensive security plan was developed and given to the club.

“While the club acknowledges the efforts that UEFA and the Azeri government have gone to in this matter, we respect the personal decision not to travel with the player.”

‘Unwarranted decision’

The Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) also said it was disappointed by the “unwarranted decision”.

“Whilst we recognize the right to make a personal decision not to travel, we would like to reiterate that as the host country Azerbaijan has provided all the necessary guarantees required by UEFA to ensure the personal safety of Mr Mkhitaryan,” said an AFFA spokesperson.

“There is no reason whatsoever to put in question the seriousness of these guarantees provided by Azerbaijan. Over the past decade a large number of Armenian athletes have taken part in various international sports events in Azerbaijan without any issues.”

The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Political tensions

It’s the second time this season that Arsenal has left the 30-year-old out of its squad for political reasons. During the group stages last year, Mkhitaryan didn’t travel with the team to play against Qarabag.

But Arsenal isn’t the only team to have left a player at home due to political tensions; Liverpool omitted Xherdan Shaqiri from its squad to face Red Star Belgrade earlier this season.

Shaqiri’s celebration when scoring for Switzerland against Serbia in the World Cup was a reference to the eagle on Albania’s flag and was perceived to be a political gesture.

Tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, where Shaqiri was born, remain high due to long-running conflicts.

Eric Bailly Jersey

The 24-year-old centre-back has struggled for game time and consistency this season at Old Trafford.

Eric Bailly can turn around his Manchester United career yet.

After joining Manchester United from Villarreal back in 2016 for £30m, Eric Bailly has had highs and lows at Old Trafford.

The agile centre half was meant to fill a void that’s been present since Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both left the club, but it hasn’t been straight forward for the Ivory Coast international.

After being plagued with injuries he has fallen down the pecking order and so far Bailly has only made 11 Premier League appearances this season, under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Recent reports have linked Bailly with a move away this summer, but the versatile defender is still only 24 years old and has time to turn around his United career.

If Bailly is to do so, he can take inspiration from Luke Shaw’s incredible comeback. The England left-back is now one of United’s most consistent and stand out performers however that hasn’t always been the story.

Shaw was one of the most sought after young left backs in the world after joining United in 2014, but after a horrific leg break his dream move to Manchester soon turned into a Nightmare.

His confidence tumbled after a string of poor performances upon his return, which was miraculous in itself, and his weight was also scrutinised.

To make matters worse, Shaw reportedly had an ongoing feud with previous manager Mourinho and eventually Ashley Young, a right footed winger, converted to left back, took his place in United’s starting line-up

Now, under Solskjaer, Shaw’s career has been rejuvenated and he is back to his best for the Red Devils, contributing in attack while also boasting solid defensive credentials.

If Shaw can make a return from such adversity, there’s no reason Bailly can’t turn around his own career.

The centre half is simply out of favour, and if he endeavours to be a success at one of the biggest clubs in the world he will need to replicate the fighting attitude that Luke Shaw has shown.

Demetri Mitchell Jersey

Hearts defender Demetri Mitchell has confirmed he won’t kick a ball again this season after suffering a knee injury.

A scan confirmed the on-loan Manchester United youngster had damaged the lateral meniscus in his knee during the William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round win over Auchinleck Talbot last weekend, and the 22-year-old updated fans on social media to confirm his season was over.

“Took a few days to sink in but unfortunately my season’s been cut short sand I won’t play again this season,” he wrote on Instagram.

“These things happen in football but I had a great 12 months at Hearts – ups and downs and met a lot of friends in the process.

“Thank you to the fans, you were great, and all the staff who helped me too. It’s been a pleasure.

“Hearts will always be close to me. Good luck for the rest of the season!”

His Tynecastle team-mates were quick to lend their support, with Callumn Morrison writing: “All the best bro” and Anthony McDonald, currently on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, adding: “All the best mate”.

Sean Clare, Uche Ikpeazu and Jake Mulraney added supportive emoji while Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay wrote: “The boy will be back in no time.” Mitchell made 33 appearances for Hearts, scoring twice.

David de Gea Jersey

David de Gea Jersey

Journalist Duncan Castles claims David de Gea wanted to sign a contract renewal a few seasons ago, astonishing fans if his statements are true.

The Spaniard is currently embroiled in a negotiation stalemate with Manchester United with just two years remaining on his current deal.

In fact his contract was initially set to end this summer until his one year extension clause was triggered.

De Gea is clearly United’s best player who, according to reports, wants to be on the same pay as highest earner Alexis Sanchez.

Castles believes executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward purposefully allowed the goalkeeper’s contract to run down despite his desire to renew.

According to the Daily Star, Duncan said: “In De Gea’s case, De Gea wanted to sign a new contract at Manchester United a couple of seasons ago.

“He was open to it, was actively asking United to extend his contract with his terms, and Ed Woodward did not want to engage with that.

“So he had the opportunity to keep De Gea at the club long term, for less money than it would cost him to keep him now.

“And as he has done, and this is by no means simply David De Gea’s contract we’re talking about, he’s done it with player after player after player, which is allow the contracts to run down, sometimes into that final year option, before negotiating long term.

“So this has been a strategy of United’s which I presume is about keeping the wage bill down, so the calculation was: ‘we’re paying De Gea this much money, if we give him an improved contract now, that’s gonna cost us X million more over the next two years that we don’t have to spend.

“‘We can wait ‘till the final year of the contract, give him a new one there and then save money.’ It just doesn’t work that way for players of De Gea’s status.”

It’s clear Woodward feels vindicated with his decisions to allow several of the club’s players’ contracts to run down to it’s final years as the likes of Phil Jones amongst others renewed.

The executive vice-chairman clearly feels as though the appeal of playing for United will be enough to force the players into renewing their contracts late and for lower fees.

Though that may work on occasion, it’s obviously not a long-term solution as the modern game has seen players more willing to leave for free elsewhere.

The most recent example is Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey who despite all the years of service is set to leave to Juventus this summer.

David Beckham Jersey

Becks is living his best life in the FROW

David Beckham has been spotted enjoying a star-studded Paris Fashion Week as he rubs shoulders with stars like Pharrell Williams, Jonah Hill and Karlie Kloss – and looks right at home.

Posh would be proud!

The football legend can be seen chatting away to model Karlie while watching the fashion show from the front row, as he sports a green shirt, brown ankle-grazing trousers, and white trainers.

On Karlie’s other side, 21 Jump Street star Jonah can be seen suited up in a bold checked jacket and trousers.

Becks also looked more than happy to pose for snaps with Pharrell, who rocked a green jumper and pink cap.

He enjoyed a front row view

The 43-year-old has been taking the fashion reigns recently, as he launched an autumn/winter collection with the designer brand alongside Daniel Kearns during London Fashion Week.

And he and his wife Victoria looked completely content in each other’s company, as they even puckered up for a rare kiss.

With the pressure well and truly off her for a change, Victoria, 44, looked happy and relaxed as she supported her former footballer hubby at his new venture. But it still came as a surprise when the typically reserved couple shared a sweet kiss as they sat at the breakfast table.

He chatted away to the Happy singer

Daley Blind Jersey

MANCHESTER UNITED fans have begged Daley Blind to return after the centre-back bagged a hat-trick for Ajax – on the same day the Red Devils were comfortably beaten by Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho’s side slumped to a 3-1 defeat to their fierce rivals at Anfield yesterday.

A brace from second-half substitute Xherdan Shaqiri saw the home side grab all three points but, in truth, the scoreline could have been far greater.

Romelu Lukaku started up front but failed to make any impact and was brutally criticised by club legend Ryan Giggs after the match.

While United’s terrible season continued at Anfield, former Red Devils star Daley Blind was having the match of his life.

He managed to score not one, not two but three brilliant goals as Ajax thrashed De Graafschap 8-0.

His first goal was arguably the pick of the bunch.

Blind picked up the ball some 30 yards from goal before winding up and unleashing a thunderbolt strike into the top right of the net.

The centre-back’s second was a relatively easy tap-in and he sealed his hat-trick by cleverly slotting past the goalkeeper at a tight angle.

Thousands of fans have seen the footage since it was posted by Eleven Sports over the weekend.

Daley Blind Jersey

And there was a running theme from United fans.

“Re-sign him please Man Utd,’ one wrote.

Another commented: “I actually miss him.”

A third added: “Where’s the buy-back clause?”

And a fourth said: “He’s in a different league technically to any centre-half at Utd but Chris Smalling gets a new contract and he gets sold.”

Chris Smalling Jersey

Chris Smalling Jersey

Chris Smalling is the latest Manchester United player to open talks with the club about a new contract, Sky Sports News understands.

The 29-year-old is one of nine United players who see their current deals expire at the end of the season.

Smalling’s talks come after Luke Shaw signed a new five-year deal in October, while United also triggered the option in Anthony Martial’s contract to extend it until 2020 last month.

Luke Shaw signed a new five-year deal in October

The club remain in talks with David de Gea, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera over extending their stays at Old Trafford, while Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Matteo Darmian face uncertain futures.

Smalling, who joined United from Fulham in 2010, has made 14 appearances for Jose Mourinho’s side this season.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson Jersey

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson Jersey

Wycombe v Scunthorpe

SATURDAY, 3PM

IT’S almost three years since Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made his debut for his beloved Manchester United but it is at League One Scunthorpe where the 21-year-old is finally getting a run of games.

Since being tipped for stardom by Chris Smalling after a fine display against Liverpool, Borthwick-Jackson has endured miserable spells at Wolves and Leeds after being loaned out by Jose Mourinho.

However, those experiences have not dimmed the determination of the left-back, who grew up just four miles from Old Trafford, to eventually make his mark at his boyhood club.

‘The loan system is tough — it works for some but not for others. It’s a risk. Sometimes it pays off,’ he says.

‘In some cases there needs to be some protection with January call backs — so you have that bit of power.

‘But you are going out to fight for a place. It should not be given to you. You need to be on top of your game, competition is good.’ Things looked bright when Borthwick-Jackson made his United debut under Louis Van Gaal, playing ten league games in 2015-16.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson Jersey

‘It showed the manager had faith in me and I managed to be in there week in, week out. Van Gaal liked youth,’ he says.

‘However Jose Mourinho said “I rate you but go out and get games”.’

That hardly worked under Walter Zenga at Wolves, despite being man of the match in his first game. Next week he watched from the stands. ‘I thought what’s going on here? It was a good opportunity to get games at a good club. You can see Wolves are flying now. It was very strange,’ he admits.

‘The manager liked to change up eight or nine players every game.

‘That was his downfall in a way because he did not last very long there.’

The Italian was gone by November and new manager Paul Lambert did not fancy his loanee. ‘I was young and he had to make a difference fairly quickly,’ recalls Borthwick-Jackson.

‘He had his team. I don’t think I was his kind of player.’ Next stop was Leeds where, despite the historic enmity between the two Uniteds on either side of the Pennines, the young defender received a standing ovation in his first league game. ‘That was interesting! It felt good, it’s not something you expect as a Mancunian going over that way,’ he says.

A fat lot of good it did him — he never played in the league again for Leeds and made just six appearances.

‘If I wasn’t going to play, there was no point in me being there. I might as well be at home, happy, and get my confidence back,’ he recalls.

Another six months went by before he signed for Scunthorpe this summer after meeting Iron boss Nick Daws.

‘It felt different straight away. The boss explained what his plans were for this season and how he wanted to play,’ he says.

And yet Daws was sacked four games into this season. At least his Glanford Park replacement Stuart McCall has kept faith with Borthwick-Jackson.

‘It was just a case of making good first impressions again,’ he says.

‘That’s all you can do — work as hard as you can, keep your head down and play football.’

Despite reportedly earning around £10,000 a week at United, the defender has had no issues settling in, saying: ‘I don’t think there is any difference between me and the other players. We’re all here for the same reasons — hopefully at the end of the season we’re up there for promotion.’

Despite his stop-start career, CBJ — who is contracted to United until 2020 — does not think he is in the shop window. ‘I don’t feel that’s the plan. I simply need to gain experience to play as many games as I can put myself in a better position,’ he adds.

‘United are in touch all the time. I get phone calls two or three times a week — probably even more. They watch me in games and training sometimes.’

■ 2 — Goals in eight first-half minutes for Borthwick-Jackson in the Iron’s recent 5-3 win over Charlton, his only senior career goals so far

■ 6 — points separate Scunthorpe from the play-off spots having enjoyed an upturn in fortunes since Stuart McCall became manager in August

Axel Tuanzebe Jersey

Axel Tuanzebe joined Aston Villa on loan from Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

Axel Tuanzebe Jersey

Manchester United-owned Aston Villa defender Axel Tuanzebe has spoken highly of his teammate James Chester to the club’s official website.

Tuanzebe spent the second half of last season on loan at Villa from Premier League rivals United and returned to the Villans in the summer transfer window.

The 20-year-old defender – who earns £260,000 per year as salary, according to Spotrac.com – will stay at Villa for the 2018-19 campaign and will be hoping to establish himself in the first team as the season progresses.

Chester joined Villa from West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2016 for a transfer fee reported by The Daily Mail to be worth £9 million and has established himself as a key figure in the Villans’ team.

Tuanzebe told Villa’s official website about Chester: “Chezzie is solid, full-stop. First off, he has a fantastic character – he’s tremendous in the dressing room – incredibly lively.

“He’s a great skipper too – he’s good organisationally with the lads and he’s also a good person. He cares about the lads and wants to make sure everyone is alright.

“On the pitch, you can see those traits, too. He’s vocal, giving advice during the game, always talking to me. I like playing with him. He’s a top lad.”

Axel Tuanzebe Jersey

Challenging for promotion

Villa reached the Championship playoff final last season, and Steve Bruce’s side will be aiming to clinch promotion to the Premier League this campaign.

The Villans are 12th in the Championship table at the moment with nine points from six matches, two points behind sixth-placed Brentford.

Axel Tuanzebe Jersey