Manchester United have been down to the bare bones so much this season they'd make Jack Skellington jealous.
Injuries have plagued Erik ten Hag's side worse than a medieval township, with hardly a week going by without another player being added to the casualty list. Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Amad and the recently returned Kobbie Mainoo have all been long-term absentees while Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, Sofyan Amrabat, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Reguilon, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Marcus Rashford have all spent varying amount of times on the sidelines.
One of the few United players who has stayed fit throughout, somehow, is the perennially injured Anthony Martial. Any team in the world would struggle under such strain so United's sudden and steep regression is understandable.
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While being without the entire first-choice back-four for much of the season has certainly been costly, the lack of a solid and reliable midfield partnership has been felt too. United's uplift in fortunes was built on the back of Eriksen and Casemiro's midfield understanding last season but that has been lost.
Casemiro saw his form fall off a cliff before he was ruled out and just as Eriksen was looking to build a rapport with Scott McTominay he was sidelined for a month. Ten Hag appreciated the need to bring in more quality beyond the pair as they're both in their 30s which is why Mount and Amrabat were chased so fiercely.
United went over their own imposed limit to bring in Mount for £65m and worked on a deal to secure Amrabat on an initial loan as theyRead on manchestereveningnews.co.uk