Manchester United have added Phil Jones and Amad Diallo to their UEFA Europa League squad as they prepare for this month’s last-32 tie with Real Sociedad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Monday he planned to add centre-back Jones to the list of 24 players even though he hasn’t played a game for United since January last year.
The English defender, who last played in the 6-1 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers last season, required surgery on a knee injury late last year and has just returned to full fitness.
But the inclusion of Diallo, the 18-year-old Ivorian wonderkid, will excite United fans.
The winger has just arrived from Atalanta, where he made his first-team breakthrough last season, and United could eventually pay up to £35million if performance-related bonuses are met.
Diallo has yet to make his debut form Solskjaer’s side but impressed on his debut for the under-23 side on Saturday, scoring twice in a 6-3 victory over Liverpool.
He made substitute appearances for Atalanta in both Serie A and the Champions League earlier in the season and his inclusion in United’s Europa League squad suggests Solskjaer plays to use him at some point.
While United’s title chance were boosted significantly by Tuesday night’s 9-0 rout of Southampton, they will soon have to focus again on the Europa League, a competition they last won in 2017.
They crashed out of the Champions League following defeat to RB Leipzig in December and then received a testing last-32 tie against LaLiga side Sociedad.
The first leg, in Spain, will be on February 18 with the return at Old Trafford on February 25.
Speaking about Diallo earlier this week, Solskjaer said: ‘I don’t think it’s gonna be too long before he’s involved in a matchday squad.’
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