On Monday, Manchester United confirmed, via their official club website, their first-team squad heading into this summer’s pre-season training.
Along with the usual names, Louis van Gaal named the likes of Nick Powell, Angelo Henriquez and Will Keane in his squad. However, the selection of Guillermo Varela was the one that caught the eye the most.
The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, is somewhat of a forgotten man at Old Trafford, but seemingly remains in Van Gaal’s summer plans.
On Wednesday, via the official club website, United confirmed under-21 right-back Saidy Janko had left the club to join Celtic on a four-year deal, which will leave a place in the squad open for Varela should he impress this summer.
Can Varela become first choice at United with a good pre-season?
The Uruguayan may not be the first name in Van Gaal’s head when it comes to planning a starting eleven for next season. However, he has the chance to change that over the course of the summer.
Last season, he played 33 games for Real Madrid’s second team and was generally applauded for his performances. Therefore, the chance to show Van Gaal how much he has developed over the last 12 months is good news for supporters.
Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Rafael and Phil Jones have also, unsurprisingly, been called up to pre-season training and can play at right-back, so it still won’t be easy for the youngster.
Nevertheless, in what could be a last chance saloon, he should back himself to make an impact given the chance.
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sam Johnstone, Anders Lindegaard, Victor Valdes.
Defenders: Tyler Blackett, Jonny Evans, Reece James, Phil Jones, Paddy McNair, Rafael, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela.
Midfielders: Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Memphis Depay, Angel Di Maria, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Adnan Januzaj, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nani, Andreas Pereira, Nick Powell, Ashley Young.
Strikers: Angelo Henriquez, Javier Hernandez, Will Keane, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, James Wilson.