Manchester United have confirmed their squad for the Champions League to UEFA, with two surprise inclusions in the form of strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and James Wilson. Both are currently out with injuries, with the Swede in particular not expected to return before the end of the group stages in December, but have been included anyway by manager Jose Mourinho.
Wilson’s inclusion is likely to be connected to the requirement regarding homegrown players, with his status of having come through the club’s youth system a valuable attribute to have on offer, even if he is still yet to impress in the first team at Old Trafford.
One player to miss out was Andreas Pereira, who will instead be helping a club get back to Europe’s elite competition with Valencia in Spain. Before departing on a season long loan deal, he put pen to paper on a new two year contract extension keeping him at the club until 2019 with an option for a further year. Discussing the news, boss Mourinho told the official website:
“Andreas is already a very good footballer. He is a young player with great natural ability and a good attitude towards continuing his development. I have no doubt that he has the potential to be one of the future great players of this club.”
Pereira was involved heavily with the first team in pre-season after he produced some fine form for Granada as they were relegated from the Spanish top flight during his loan spell in the south of Spain last season.
The club have also added another bright talent for the future, according to ESPN, with 16-year-old Arnau Puigmal signing from Spanish club RCD Espanyol, managed by former Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores. The central midfielder is very highly rated in Spain and his signing is a statement by the Manchester United academy.
Puigmal’s arrival has not yet been confirmed by the club, but he is expected to work with the under 18s squad when he does arrive in Manchester. From there, he will hope to progress to the first team in the years ahead.