Erik ten Hag surprised Man Utd youngster Zidane Iqbal hasn’t played more after impressing in preseason
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 04
Iqbal looking to force his way into the first-team this season (Picture: Getty)

youngster Zidane Iqbal has made an immediate impression on Erik ten Hag with the Dutchman questioning why the midfielder has not featured more often in the first-team.

Ten Hag has overseen training at Carrington for the first time this week, laying out his plans and expectations for the new season.

Following a dismal 2020-21 campaign, the Dutchman has already warned he will call upon some of the club’s young academy stars to challenge established first-team players for roles in the starting XI.

A number of those players have been involved in training this week with Iqbal, Hannibal Mejbri and Alejandro Garnacho impressing the manager, according to .

Iqbal, who signed a new long-term contract with the club this week, made his senior debut under Ralf Rangnick last season, coming on for the final minute of a dead rubber Champions League clash against Young Boys.

Ten Hag impressed with the young stars of the group (Picture: Getty)

A source told The Sun: ‘A lot of the younger players have been in the training sessions, too.

‘He has been impressed with Ibqal and wonders why he has not featured more.’

Garnacho produced some thrilling displays for United’s Under-23 last season, awarded with two appearances off the bench under Rangnick.

Mejbri meanwhile impressed supporters with a feisty cameo off the bench at Anfield against Liverpool in April before playing an hour on the final day of the season against Crystal Palace.

The youngsters have been told by ten Hag that places in his side are up for grabs with the new boss eager to create ‘healthy competition’ within the squad.

‘Ten Hag is trying to tell the senior players that their positions are up for grabs, too,’ the source said.

‘If they work hard, the players willing to carry out his instructions will take the first-team spots.

‘Everyone has stepped up their game and it’s creating healthy competition.’

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