Several Manchester United stars could get more opportunities in the Europa League next season.
Manchester United boss David Moyes will be an incredibly frustrated man this morning but a few of his younger players should be quite happy the senior side saw their chance for Champions League football next season slip away.
Winning the tournament was the most realistic way for Moyes’ men to get back into the competition and the focus now will be on ensuring the side is playing at least Europa League football next year.
That competition won’t be at all glamorous for the club’s fans but it does mean there will be opportunities to play for youngster stars coming up through the ranks at Old Trafford.
Should United secure a Europa League spot, it means they will be playing European games on a Thursday night, leaving Moyes with no choice but to rotate as he rests key senior players for important weekend fixtures.
Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool was the perfect example last season that the Europa League can be used to give younger players game time, which ultimately helps their development.
Here are five United players who will get frequent chances in the competition next season.
The 18-year-old striker has been in great form for the United youth ranks this season with ten goals across the UEFA Youth League and the under-21 Premier League.
He’s already been drafted into the fringes of first team action under Moyes and will definitely get chances to lead the attack if he continues to progress and develop along the right lines.
The 20-year-old is on loan at Wigan until the end of the current season and has been in decent form for the Championship side with seven goals and two assists from 29 appearances.
He got Champions League game time under Sir Alex Ferguson and could be a great player to have pulling the strings at the top of United’s midfield if they qualify for the competition next season.
Another attacking midfielder and another player out on loan in the Championship with Brighton.
Lingard has seven goals and six assists from his Championship appearances and six goals and three assists from his under-21 Premier League appearances.
Moyes could play on the fact that he and Powell play in similar positions, putting them up against each other to try and get first team football more frequently.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper is an example of an older player who could get more game time in the Europa League, potentially keeping him at the club beyond this coming summer.
Moyes will want to rest David De Gea frequently as the games will start to come thick and fast which means an opportunity for the Dane to throw down a claim for the number one spot.
With Patrice Evra possibly staying at the club and another left-back potentially coming in, Buttner could be in a situation where he needs as many games as possible to preserve his United career.
He’s made just 13 senior appearances this season and will definitely be used regularly in the Europa League, rotating alongside the other players gunning for the left-back slot.