Five Manchester United players to watch in pre-season - Rafael, Wilson and more

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This summer is a big one for several Manchester United stars.

Manchester United is one of the most exciting clubs to be at this pre-season, with Louis van Gaal likely to show faith in some of the club’s younger players next season.

Van Gaal has worked with younger players wherever he’s been in his career and his decision to include 16 home grown stars in his Netherlands World Cup squad is a sign that a variety of players can be confident they’ll get a chance under United’s new gaffer.

United’s pre-season schedule starts on July 24 against LA Galaxy and there are several players, young and old, worth watching over the next few weeks.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney is under huge pressure for two main reasons; he didn’t have a great World Cup and because of Robin van Persie. Van Persie is expected to be van Gaal’s main man in attack next season and Rooney has to put pressure on his manager if he wants to play up front.

James Wilson

Wilson progressed impressively through the youth system last season, earning a first team chance under the interim guidance of Ryan Giggs. Wilson is one of the best talents that United have and while van Gaal may not drop him into the first team, he has a great chance to create an impression.


There has been some speculation on the transfer market that right-back is one of the positions that van Gaal will look to improve this summer. However, the Brazilian should view pre-season as a chance to cement his place on the right hand side of United’s defence.

Luke Shaw

Shaw is under big pressure following his huge money move from Southampton. Pre-season is important for him because he needs to improve his strength and be ready as there’s a good chance van Gaal could start him against Swansea on the first day of the new campaign.

Michael Carrick

With all the talk of new midfield faces appearing around Old Trafford, Carrick is one star who could be getting a little twitchy over his first team chances next season. Controlled and measured performances in front of United’s back four could convince LvG to build his midfield around the England international.

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