Manchester United rang the changes in midweek against West Ham, albeit to no avail as they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup.
The Hammers left Old Trafford with a 1-0 win meaning United’s silverware hunt is limited further.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 11 changes with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial starting in attack whilst Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic played in midfield.
United’s squad depth this term is a definite plus having added three quality individuals during the summer.
Rotation will be key, but even in a squad this strong Solskjaer will inevitably have those he favours.
Already they are becoming obvious meaning those on the periphery will have to go above and beyond to become fixtures in the starting XI.
Five individuals will no doubt have been frustrated with Wednesday’s result as they look to push for more involvement.
The smart money will be on few, if any of them, starting against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Perhaps one of the decisions that could come to define the Solskajer era.
Last term he stuck with De Gea, changed to Henderson before reverting to type by the season’s end.
An illness hampered the Englishman in the summer and his outing in midweek was his first appearance of the summer.
Henderson’s frustration will no doubt be mounting as De Gea continues to command the No 1 spot and there is little to suggest he will retain his place.
Last term he was limited to cup games for the first half of the season and that, unofficially, is often a sign you’re the understudy.
The Ivorian is perhaps the biggest loser from the Raphael Varane signing.
Even last year he struggled for minutes as Victor Lindelof remained Harry Maguire’s regular partner.
Now Bailly appears to be fourth in the pecking order which is set to majorly hamper his involvement.
Bailly’s physical attributes are somewhat similar to Varane’s meaning the pair are unlikely to start alongside each other anytime soon with Solskjaer more inclined to pick one or the other.
Injuries haven’t helped the former Villarreal man during his five years in Manchester and he seems destined for a squad role.
The Swede played 29 times in the Premier League last season and begun alongside Maguire this term, but that was before Varane arrived.
He and Bailly played alongside each other on Wednesday and the duo could continue their partnership in the cups, although their early exit is far from ideal in that sense.
However in the league and Europe it looks as if Maguire and Varane will pair up going forward.
Signing a centre-half was a priority in the summer which suggests Solskjaer may not have been entirely sold on the combinations he had to pick from.
Donny van de Beek
The Dutchman started in the middle of the park on Wednesday and that may well have to be the area he targets if he wants to fulfil his United ambitions.
His first season did not go to plan, with many rightly questioning the thought process behind the signing given his history of operating in a similar role to Bruno Fernandes.
Challenging the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay now looks to be on his agenda but whether he has the discipline to play that role long-term remains to be seen.
One things for sure, and that is the amount of pressure placed on Van de Beek’s shoulders when he’s selected is no good for anyone.
United want the best version of him, he wants to play but knows minutes are at a premium. Solskjaer appears determined to make the transfer work, but he needs the Dutchman to play with freedom, an atmosphere he must create.
Offering starts in the league would be a plus, but an unlikely reality at this stage.
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Having rejected a new deal you wonder whether Lingard has accepted he should’ve moved on in the summer.
He scored the winner last Sunday and you’d like to think that would at least guarantee a start this weekend.
Not at United however, especially with Sancho still looking to prove himself and the club wanting the investment to work.
A snub this weekend would be a hammer blow for Lingard, who also netted recently against Newcastle.
He seems the unfashionable choice in a squad bursting with household names and young talent, but there’s no doubting his effectiveness this term.