Manchester United’s preparations for the 2014-15 season will begin later this month when they fly out to the USA.
The Red Devils will take part in a number of friendly matches against some of the big teams in Europe, including Real Madrid and Roma.
It will be the first chance for new manager Louis van Gaal to properly gauge his players and ascertain who he thinks are suitable for him.
United legend Paul Scholes has now underlined the importance of playing such pre-season games against the big teams.
‘I think players prefer against top-class teams’, the 39-year-old former midfielder told the club’s official website. ‘The manager and staff will want to use as many players as they can to ensure they're ready for the first game of the season and playing against some of these teams will definitely help the players do that’.
The pre-season tour will be vital for many players who underperformed last season and whose futures are wrapped up in uncertainty.
The likes of Javier Hernandez, Marouane Fellaini, Shinji Kagawa and Tom Cleverley will all be looking to make the most of the tour to convince Van Gaal to make them important part of the team for the 2014-15 campaign.
Playing against the top clubs and the top players will help United get into the groove of things. They may still have the status of ‘pre-season friendlies’, but the games will be competitive and will give the players a taste of what’s to come.
It will also give Van Gaal a concrete idea of what his players are capable of.