Man Utd v Real Sociedad: Pictures
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Manchester United star Aaron Wan-Bissaka appeared in the directors’ box just before kick-off of the Europa League tie against Real Sociedad – despite being named as a substitute. Wan-Bissaka has only made one appearance so far this season and clearly wasn’t ready to come off the bench on Thursday.
Diogo Dalot has started all seven matches of Erik ten Hag’s reign at Old Trafford so far. The Portuguese star has usurped Wan-Bissaka as the first-choice right-back at the club.
Ten Hag opted to pick a strong starting XI for the visit of Sociedad, though still made six changes. Dalot was one of the five players to keep his place from Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.
Wan-Bissaka was one of 12 players to be named on the United substitutes’ bench. However, the Manchester Evening News claims the 24-year-old was not with the squad shortly before kick-off.
Wan-Bissaka was instead in the directors’ box. He missed the win over Leicester last week due to a “small complaint” and was also absent from the squad for the victory over the Gunners.
United signed Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in 2019 for a fee which could rise to £50million. However, he is clearly the second choice for Ten Hag.
The Red Devils were willing to sell in the summer transfer window. However, Palace’s offer to re-sign him for £10m was deemed too low.
Wan-Bissaka has made 127 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring two goals. But his attacking ability has often been questioned, which also saw him left out by interim boss Ralf Rangnick for the majority of his tenure last season.
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United were beaten 1-0 by their Spanish opponents on Thursday. Ten Hag handed a full debut to new signing Casemiro as well as first European appearances for Antony, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.
Brais Mendez scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 59th minute. Martinez was deemed to have handballed in his own 18-yard area.
Replays clearly showed the ball ricocheted off Martinez’s leg onto his arm. However, VAR did not intervene and the penalty was confirmed.
The other game in United’s group saw FC Sheriff beat Omonia Nicosia 3-0 in Cyprus. United’s next group match is away to Sheriff next Thursday.
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