After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

Harry Kane is the world's best striker and can land another World Cup Golden Boot this year, says England team-mate Luke Shaw.

Tottenham ace Kane scored the winner for England from the penalty spot in Saturday's 2-1 friendly success against Switzerland at Wembley.

That goal 12 minutes from time, after Shaw had cancelled out Breel Embolo's header, took Kane level with Bobby Charlton as England's joint-second all-time top scorer.

Only Wayne Rooney has scored more goals in an England shirt, with the former Manchester United frontman having netted 53 compared to Kane and Charlton's 49 strikes.

With seven England games pencilled in between now and the World Cup, Kane may well break that goalscoring record before Qatar 2022 gets up and running in November.

On current form, Shaw is backing his Three Lions colleague to finish top of the scoring charts in the global showpiece, having previously done so in Russia four years ago.

"I don't see why not," Shaw told beIN SPORTS. "For me, at the moment, the way he's playing, he's one of the best strikers in the world, probably the best.

"So hopefully he can keep that form up, keep it going. He's showing it week in, week out at the moment, and it's a joy to watch.

"Long may that continue, and I’m sure he will be hunting another Golden Boot and all the other records."

At club level, Kane has scored 11 goals in 17 appearances so far this calendar year and chipped in with a further four assists in all competitions.

The 15 direct goal involvements is a tally bettered only by Robert Lewandowski, Christopher Nkunku (both 16) and Karim Benzema (17) from Europe's top five leagues.

Kane has also now scored eight goals in his last three international appearances, helping England to three successive wins with an aggregate score of 17-1.

England were not at their best against Switzerland, but Manchester United defender Shaw believes the battling display – a seventh comeback win under Gareth Southgate – stands the national team in good stead.

"The belief, the confidence – I've said it many times before, when we're under pressure in games where it's not going the way we want to, I feel like we're all together," said Shaw.

"We're going to come across all sorts of games when we're under pressure. The main thing for me is we're all together, and we do that in abundance where we're really well drilled, and we know what everyone has to do when they step out on that pitch.

"That's with the ball but definitely without the ball we're getting better with that, too."

Luke Shaw appeared to suggest he finds greater enjoyment in his football when playing for England than Manchester United. 

Shaw scored the Three Lions' equaliser in Saturday's 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland, which was secured by a second-half Harry Kane penalty. 

That was Shaw's sixth goal involvement in his past eight matches for England, with the left-back seemingly established as first choice for Gareth Southgate. 

He remains a reliable creative source at club level as well, with his five assists across all competitions in 2021-22 bettered by only Paul Pogba (nine) and Bruno Fernandes (13), while the latter (107) is also the only United player to create more chances than Shaw (47). 

But much like club and international colleague Harry Maguire, Shaw's United form has been criticised at times this term, especially with regard to his defensive positioning in an extremely porous backline – only four teams have faced more shots on target in the Premier League this season than the Red Devils (143). 

That would understandably be difficult to enjoy for a defender, but Shaw's frankness about the situation will likely raise eyebrows at Old Trafford. 

"The environment here that Gareth creates, you always enjoy it," Shaw told reporters at Wembley. 

"When I come here it's about enjoyment and playing games with a smile on my face. We all love playing for our country and when we're here we're all focused on what's happening here." 

Shaw was then asked if he had to be happy in order to find his best form, to which he replied: "I think everyone does. 

"It's always important to feel like you're wanted and especially here I always feel that. I'm not saying I don't at United, but especially here, the way things are, I feel wanted and I enjoy my football. 

"A big part of football is the enjoyment and, of course, it's hard to enjoy when we're losing and not playing well at club level. We have to face that. 

"This season hasn't been good enough at all and it's hard to enjoy. We've got a lot to improve but right now we're here at England. My focus is on that." 

Ralf Rangnick bemoaned Manchester United's composure after they again slipped up when leading to draw 1-1 with Southampton on Saturday.

Jadon Sancho struck first after 21 minutes at Old Trafford with his second goal in three games, as many as he scored in his first 23 outings across all competitions for United.

However, just as they did at Burnley on Tuesday, Rangnick's side squandered their lead and were held after Che Adams' second-half equaliser.

It is only the second time in Premier League history that United have failed to win back-to-back matches despite being ahead at half-time in both, having last done so in December 1998.

Just four top-flight teams have dropped more points than United (13) from a winning position this season, and Rangnick expressed his concern after yet another failure to hold onto a lead.

"It was very similar to previous games, unfortunately," Rangnick told BBC Sport. "It is the fourth game where we were ahead but took one point instead of three. It is difficult to take but we have to accept it.

"It was a very good first half hour. I was pleased with our performance. We didn't allow them too many chances, but they had transitional moments in the first half and then scored an early goal in the second half.

"Then it was an open game, each team had chances. We had the clearer chances to win, but right now we are struggling to keep our composure and the structure for more than the first half.

"We have to understand where we are. [Southampton] won 3-2 at Tottenham. We got a point today, we expected three and needed three, but that is the situation.

"That is why there was a change of manager and why we are here."

Luke Shaw echoed his manager's frustrations as he stressed the importance of converting their good starts into wins.

"History is repeating itself again," Shaw added. "We started really well the first 20 minutes, got the goal and it just happened again. We know it's not good enough and it needs to change quickly.

"If we take our chances early in the game, it's a different story. We know we need to get better. We can't over-think it. We want to get in the Champions League and it's not good enough and there's no way we will get in Champions League if we keep dropping points.

"The most important thing at the moment is results. It's about picking up the points and we need to be climbing the table.

Rangnick, however, reserved special praise for Sancho, whom he believes is rediscovering the form that led United to spend £73million on the former Borussia Dortmund winger last July.

"This is the Jadon Sancho I know from the Bundesliga and the way he is playing at the moment is the best Jadon Sancho we have seen for Manchester United," Rangnick added.

United will look to make amends on Tuesday when they host Brighton and Hove Albion.

Victor Lindelof will miss Manchester United's clash with West Ham as he wants to stay with his family after his house was broken into on Wednesday.

Lindelof started alongside Raphael Varane in a 3-1 win at Brentford, but during the clash in London entered his home while his wife and children hid inside.

The 27-year-old's wife, Maja, revealed on Instagram she locked herself and her two children in a room before the intruders entered the house.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick confirmed on Friday that the Sweden international will be unavailable for Saturday's Premier League meeting with West Ham as he wants to be with his family.

"I spoke with him at length on our flight back home from London," Rangnick told reporters at his pre-match news conference. 

"Also, we spoke for about 20, 25 minutes this morning. He told me what had actually happened and that this was a traumatic event especially for his wife and three-year-old son.

"He said to me that he right now needs to stay at home. He doesn't want to leave his wife and family on their own, which I can fully understand, being a father of two children myself. 

"We agreed that he will not be training today and won't be available tomorrow for the game."

Jadon Sancho, who was absent for the trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, remains a doubt for the encounte with the Hammers.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger missed the meeting with Thomas Frank's side as he was at a family funeral on the same day. Rangnick remains unsure whether Sancho will available to face West Ham.

"Jadon didn't train because he still asked to be able to not train," he added. "He attended the funeral on Wednesday. It's still affected him quite a lot. He's expected back today at three o'clock. 

"Right now, I'm not sure if he will be available because it was an important member of the family, someone he was close to all his life. We've got to wait and see and speak after training."

The Red Devils will be without Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who remain out injured, so Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles will likely continue at full-back.

United sit seventh in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed West Ham with a game in hand.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw launched a passionate appraisal of the "phenomenal" Phil Jones after he made his first appearance in almost two years during the 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Monday.

Jones last started a top-flight game against Burnley in January 2020 but injuries to Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly, along with COVID-19 complications for Victor Lindelof, left United short in defence.

The 712 days between Premier League games for Jones is the longest gap any player who has not left the club – including loan spells – has had between appearances for the Red Devils in the competition.

The former Blackburn Rovers defender, who missed the entire 2020-21 season through injury, had been an unused substitute in five league games this campaign, but was in from the start against Wolves alongside Raphael Varane.

United were insipid in their first defeat under Ralf Rangnick, but Jones can at least hold his head high after a solid display.

His 90 per cent passing accuracy was higher than any other starter on the pitch, while he also had the best duels success rate among United players (87.5 per cent).

His tally of three tackles was not bettered by any of his team-mates and he made two more blocks than any player from either side (three).

Jones has been ridiculed at points during his time on the sidelines, with many questioning why he has not moved on, but Shaw says it is about time his team-mate was given some respect.

"Phil Jones can be proud of himself," the England international told Sky Sports.

"He's been ridiculed for a number of years, constantly. People are always getting at him and he's stuck by it. He's so professional and has tried so hard and he got his reward tonight.

"He was out for a year and this was his first big game back. He was exceptional. Obviously I'm very happy for him after what he's been through. He's a good lad and he deserves it."

Joao Moutinho's late winner at Old Trafford meant United have lost their opening league match in two of the last three calendar years – before that, they had only been defeated twice in 23 matches at the start of a year.

It was the visitors' first away league win against United since February 1980, ending a run of 10 visits to Old Trafford without a victory (D3 L7).

Luke Shaw felt Manchester United were not "all together" in their defeat to Wolves, while he suggested his side having quality is not always enough to succeed.

United saw their undefeated start under interim manager Ralf Rangnick abruptly end on Monday as Joao Moutinho, aged 35 and 117 days, became the oldest player to score a winning Premier League goal at Old Trafford in a 1-0 victory for Wolves.

The defeat leaves United four points adrift of Arsenal in the final Champions League spot after failing to score in a fourth different home league game this season, already more than they did in the whole 2020-21 campaign (three).

And Shaw bemoaned his side's performance as he questioned the team's togetherness, explaining that the quality within the camp will only get Rangnick's side so far.

He told Sky Sports after the game: "It was not good enough, we really struggled, we couldn't get hold of the ball and when we didn't have the ball we weren't aggressive enough. We didn't put them under any pressure.

"It maybe looked like an easy game for them. A disappointing performance and result. We didn't have many options on the ball and we weren't on the front foot.

"We have to put more pressure on them, we have to have intensity. Us players, we have been here a long time, maybe tonight we struggled, I didn't think we were all there together. 

"You look at the players we have, we have unbelievable quality but sometimes quality is not enough.

"We need to bring the intensity and more motivation. Inside the dressing room, we know what we want but out on the pitch we need to give 100 per cent. To win these types of games we all need to be 100% committed. It is tough and disappointing."

United will look to right some of their wrongs and get their campaign back on track when they face Aston Villa on January 15 in their next league game – five days after facing them in the FA Cup.

Manchester United have broken with modern tradition and made a footballing decision that everyone seems to think is a good one.

The appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season was confirmed on Monday, a day after caretaker Michael Carrick managed a creditable 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

While he hasn't been a coach for the best part of three years, Rangnick's legacy in the Bundesliga and his influence on some of Germany's finest minds makes him a shrewd appointment for United, not least because he will take up a two-year consultancy role after 2021-22.

This, then, is a decision taken by United with a view to long-term changes to their fortunes, not simply a quick fix to arrest poor results. Still, with more than half the season still to go, Rangnick could yet guide the Red Devils to some tangible on-pitch success over the coming months – provided that he gets to work quickly on some of their biggest problems.

Stats Perform looks at five things Rangnick must address as soon as possible...

 

Fix the defence

United conceded 21 goals in the first 12 games of the season; they have never previously let in more at the same stage in the competition's history. In November alone, they have faced 60 shots, the most of any side in the division.

That tells you something about the state of their defence.

Of course, Rangnick's gegenpressing system is likely to demand off-the-ball contributions from every player on the pitch (more on that shortly) but the rearguard is in need of some serious fine-tuning. In particular, captain Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have seen their individual form fall off a cliff since they helped England to the final of Euro 2020; it was telling that a good defensive performance against Chelsea on Sunday came with both players sidelined.

Getting the best out of Shaw and Maguire, arresting Aaron Wan-Bissaka's decline and getting Raphael Varane fit and integrated into the side will be essential to Rangnick's aims.

Get Bruno firing again

So often United's star performer under Solskjaer, Bruno Fernandes is another who has endured a comparatively poor season.

He tallied his 50 direct goal involvement on his 58th appearance in October (30 goals, 20 assists), which is a tally only Andy Cole (43), Alan Shearer (54) and Eric Cantona (54) reached in fewer games, so it's not all bad. But the Portugal playmaker has scored just once in 19 appearances for club and country.

He looks a player in need of a lift and, so central is he to United's attack play, he could be Rangnick's first port of call at Carrington. Well, apart from...

Accommodate Ronaldo

Like a black hole devouring a gas cloud, all the noise surrounding United's performances seems to be drawn inexorably back to Cristiano Ronaldo.

It's a beguiling narrative: a five-time Ballon d'Or winner who has to start every game but who should not expect to start every game; a 36-year-old forward who no longer contributes enough to make up for any shortcomings, but one with six goals in five Champions League matches this season, two of them winners and one a last-gasp equaliser.

There are some writing off Ronaldo's chances of winning over a coach like Rangnick who demands hard graft from every member of his team, while others say the onus is on the incoming manager to construct a unit that brings the best out of the leading male international goalscorer in history. Time will tell what the future holds.

And just a note for the 'Ronaldo doesn't press' crowd: he made three more sprints and 21 more intensive runs against Chelsea than Jesse Lingard, who came on at the same time.

Tie down Pogba and tidy the squad

Some of Solskjaer's best work at United was putting together a strong squad, but that seemed to unravel in his final few months in charge.

Lingard returned rejuvenated from West Ham but, rather than cash in when there was a demand, Solskjaer kept the England international yet gave him just 63 minutes of league action. It's now likely he'll leave for nothing next June.

There were similarly strange decisions behind contract extensions for Eric Bailly and the seldom-seen Juan Mata, while Phil Jones is still at the club after two years of injury hell and Anthony Martial was retained despite falling way down the attacking pecking order. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson also appears unlikely now to dislodge David de Gea.

Then there is Paul Pogba, still yet to sign a new deal or announce plans to leave for free next year, whose agent wastes few opportunities to discuss potentially interested parties. The word is that Pogba is excited to work with Rangnick, but the France star is just one of several members of the United squad who needs clarity on their positions.

Give Donny a chance

It felt almost pre-ordained when Donny van de Beek scored the final goal of the Solskjaer era against Watford, having come on as a substitute to rapturous (and ironic) cheers from the visiting fans.

Van de Beek has spent most of his time at United being assured his chances would come, then left wondering when that would be. Having only started four league games in 14 months, the Netherlands international – who has lost his place in the national squad – would almost certainly have pushed to leave in January had Solskjaer stayed in the job.

Now, Van de Beek has the opportunity to prove himself to a new manager. Rangnick's methods might not be Cruyffian exactly, but they are certainly more closely aligned to the Ajax way than Solskjaer's focus on individual inspiration.

Gareth Southgate is hopeful Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish "won't miss too much football" after the duo withdrew from the England squad ahead of Monday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino.

The Three Lions' manager confirmed that both players suffered minor injuries in Friday's 5-0 win over Albania.

Grealish did manage to train the following day, but he has now returned to Manchester City for further assessment, while Henderson has headed back to Liverpool.

England only need to avoid defeat against the lowest-ranked team in the world to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Speaking at a media conference on Sunday, Southgate said: "With Henderson it was within the [Albania] game. With Jack, we think a little bit perhaps within the game, but he trained yesterday. As a precaution, we scanned them both, so there are small injuries on the scans.

"We just hope that they're not going to miss too much football ball from here on. It shouldn't be too bad in either case, but we just have to see how that progresses."

Southgate confirmed that Raheem Sterling has also withdrawn from the squad for personal reasons.

He also ruled Chelsea's Mason Mount (dental) and Manchester United's Luke Shaw (concussion) out of contention, with the pair having also missed the Albania game.

It was confirmed earlier on Sunday that Crystal Palace's on-loan midfielder Conor Gallagher has been drafted in from England's U21 squad for his first senior call-up.

Southgate insisted that both he and Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe – who made his senior debut off the bench against Albania – had been called up on merit.

When asked about older players like James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Patrick Bamford being overlooked, he said: "We haven't had an opening for a forward, and Patrick's been injured as well. In terms of the others, we think Conor and Emile are playing better than others that we could have called in, simple as that.

"The door is never closed. I like the idea of bringing young players in because you're investing in England's future.

"It would be easier perhaps in the short term to bring in an older player, but I'm not certain there are older players who are playing better than those two at this current moment in time in the positions they are playing."

Conor Gallagher has been rewarded for his fine form at Crystal Palace with his first call-up to the senior England squad.

The Chelsea-owned midfielder enjoyed a promising debut campaign in the Premier League last season with West Brom, impressing despite their relegation.

He won the Baggies' Young Player of the Year award and subsequently secured another temporary move within the top flight, joining Patrick Vieira's Palace.

At Selhurst Park, Gallagher has been a standout performer, earning a nomination for the Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Month award for October.

A regular at under-21 level, Gallagher will link up with the senior squad in the hope of featuring against San Marino on Monday, with England requiring a point to seal their qualification for the World Cup.

Several players will not be available for Gareth Southgate, however. Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish have returned to their clubs for injury assessments, Mason Mount will miss out due to dental surgery, Luke Shaw has concussion and Raheem Sterling has a "personal matter" to attend to.

Nevertheless, it offers Gallagher a great opportunity to stake a claim with Qatar 2022 a little over a year away.

He was arguably unlucky not to be called up ahead of Friday's win over Albania, such has been his start to the season with Palace.

Gallagher has been involved in six goals, four of which he has scored himself, and created another 17 opportunities – no other Palace player can better him in any of those metrics.

There are also only eight Premier League midfielders to attempt more tackles (26) and complete more dribbles (12) than Gallagher this term, while his 65 wins in duels see him ranked third, evidence of the well-rounded qualities he will bring to Southgate's squad.

 

Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Mason Mount and Luke Shaw remain doubts for England's World Cup qualifier against Albania, but Jack Grealish is back in training and is set to be available for the clash at Wembley Stadium on Friday.

It will be the Three Lions' final home game of the year and a win will see them move within one point of qualifying for Qatar 2022 from Group I, assuming second-placed Poland do not fail to win in Andorra.

The England manager has already lost Marcus Rashford, James Ward-Prowse and Declan Rice to injury from his initial squad, with Emile Smith Rowe the only replacement called up.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday, when asked about the availability of Mount (dental) and Shaw (concussion), Southgate said "I've got to check in with our medical staff for our update. The longer it goes, the more unlikely it is.

"Mason has to recover from his dental surgery. Luke didn't pass his [head injury assessment] after the first day and rightly, we have to follow the guidelines with that.

"Jack Grealish has trained and is ready if required."

Southgate was asked how Arsenal youngster Smith Rowe has settled into the squad after his first senior call-up.

"He has settled really well," he added. "He obviously knows a couple of his club teammates and Phil [Foden] from the U17s. This is a group that makes new players very welcome so it's not a difficult environment to settle in and his quality has been apparent from the way he has trained.

"We have always worked on the basis that we need a strong squad because you will get injuries. We have depth and we have players who have been waiting for opportunities to play."

England captain Harry Kane was also present at the media conference and emphasised the need for he and his team-mates to brush off the disappointment of their 1-1 draw at Wembley in their previous qualifier against Hungary.

Kane said "Whenever you have a disappointing game, or you don't reach the standards you normally reach, it kind of wakes you up a little bit and makes you realise there's still work to do, still more to improve on.

"Three points from that game would have really helped towards securing qualification, so now it's about turning it round and responding to that game. We've had a great week of preparation but it's all about performing when the pressure's on and the team have done that before."

Kane was also asked about his own start to the season, having scored only once in his first 10 Premier League games for Tottenham. He was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in the last transfer window, but denied that it has had an influence on his performances.

"Losing a European final for your country at Wembley will probably stay with me the rest of my career. You never really get over those things, unless we go and win a major tournament. That always stings but I'm pretty used to getting back into things," Kane said.

"There was a lot of speculation over the summer, that's the first real time that's happened to me. But that's part and parcel of being a big player, having to deal with those situations, and I think I dealt with it well. Now it's about focusing. There's still a long way to go at club level and we've got these two games to finish off what's been a great calendar year [for England]."

It is all change in the England squad, with two players dropping out, and Emile Smith Rowe earning a first senior call up from Gareth Southgate.

Smith Rowe has been in excellent form for Arsenal this season, but was not initially included in Southgate's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

The midfielder, who was handed Arsenal's number 10 shirt for 2021-22, has appeared in every Premier League game for the Gunners this term.

His tally of 15 chances created ranks him second in Arsenal's squad, behind Bukayo Saka (19). He has provided two league assists and scored four goals, meaning he is the club's joint-top scorer in the top flight alongside captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

After initially arriving at St George's Park to be part of the England Under-21 squad, Smith Rowe will instead join the senior side after Marcus Rashford and James Ward-Prowse dropped out.

Rashford has only just returned from a long injury lay off following shoulder surgery, and will remain at Manchester United in order to work his way back to fitness, while Southampton's Ward-Prowse is ill.

Southgate might also be without regulars Luke Shaw and Mason Mount. The United full-back is following concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury in Saturday's derby defeat to Manchester City and will continue to be assessed by the club before being released for international duty. 

Mount, meanwhile, has had his arrival pushed back by dental surgery and will be monitored over the coming days.

England host Albania on Friday, before taking on San Marino three days later. Four points from the two matches will guarantee their place in Qatar.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has urged his team-mates not to get carried away despite the 3-0 win over Tottenham and last-gasp equaliser at Atalanta, adamant they are still in a "rut".

United suffered a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool in October that briefly looked as though it could cost manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job.

The club resisted the urge to sack the Norwegian and he oversaw a comprehensive 3-0 win at Tottenham last Saturday in response, his switch to a back three and use of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack paying dividends.

Ronaldo was again decisive on Tuesday as United twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Atalanta, the Portugal star scoring both goals including a stoppage-time leveller.

The equaliser represented a seismic shift in United's Champions League outlook: a defeat would have left them in real danger of being eliminated in their next game away to Villarreal, but they will go to Spain at the top of Group F.

Shaw, who has been among the most criticised United players in recent weeks, says they cannot afford to take the past two results for granted, particularly with Manchester City up next on Saturday.

"We have to keep this attitude," he told beIN SPORTS. "I think just because we beat Spurs 3-0 and we picked up a point here, we can't put our heads down, we can't get comfortable.

"We can't think, 'we've done it now, we've got out of our rut and everything's perfect, everything's fine'. It's not.

"We know we need to dig deep. We know we're not in a good situation, we know what we've been doing hasn't been good enough.

"As a team we've talked about that inside the dressing room, so the games didn't come any easier, so we need to be ready for this one [the City game] because it's at home and it's a big game."

United failed to get out of their group last season and dropped into the Europa League, ultimately losing to Unai Emery's Villarreal in the final.

Shaw believes United are heeding lessons from last season's struggles, which showed just how important it can be to turn a defeat into a draw.

"I think if you look at it, if you look at the group, [this was] an important point," he continued. "Of course, it's not what we wanted, we wanted three points, but I think you have to look at the way the game went and the score towards the end, I think you would take a point in this situation.

"We know we've still got a lot to improve on. You know the results the last couple of games have been a bit better, but we've still got work to do and we're sort of in charge of our own group now."

He added to MUTV: "We obviously learnt from last year really, we needed to. We don't want to be in that situation again."

Luke Shaw admitted there is something "going wrong" at Manchester United following their 5-0 home Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side suffered the biggest defeat to their fierce rivals since 1895 as they lost a league match at Old Trafford by five or more goals without scoring for the first time in 66 years.

Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and two goals from Mohamed Salah meant United trailed by four goals at half-time of a Premier League game for the first time, before Liverpool's Egyptian star  completed his hat-trick in the second period – the first treble scored by a visiting player at Old Trafford since Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2003.

Paul Pogba was sent off just 15 minutes after being introduced as a substitute to compound a truly miserable day for United fans, some of whom booed their side off at half-time and did not stay for the second period.

Solskjaer described it as his "darkest day" as United manager and there is now significant pressure on the shoulders of the Norwegian, who has overseen five defeats and just three wins in their most recent nine matches.

Shaw, United's players' player of the year last season, is one of several players to have endured a poor run of form and the England left-back believes now is the time for everyone at the club to reflect and take action.

 "We are extremely disappointed, it is not good enough, and it hurts a lot," he told MUTV. "I think football is obviously a team sport, we are in it together and we are all together. But I think, as individuals, we need to take responsibility for some of the actions tonight.

"Personally, that is of course why I am here, I am not hiding inside. I know I was not at my best tonight, I know I was not good enough, and of course, I will take some responsibility for that. 

"It is something that we shouldn't allow. We are at one of the best clubs in the world, one of the biggest clubs in the world, playing at our home stadium in front of all these fans. It shouldn't happen. 

"We should be much better in these games and especially in key moments. We had a big chance in the first minute or so. If that goes in, maybe we could be looking at a different game, but that is not to blame anyone. I am not here to blame individuals. It is a team game.

"I just want to thank the fans because 5-0 down is never easy for them and, of course, it is not easy for us, but they stuck with us, they carried on singing and they could have easily left the stadium. We would have totally understood that with the way we performed and the scoreline, but they stuck with us, they kept on singing and we really appreciate that. I can only apologise for the performance.

"I know we can better, I know we have to be better. I think it is not just us as players. The whole club needs to have a look at ourselves to see what went wrong and what is going wrong. We need to reflect on that and we need to do something about it.

"It is not good enough for the standards this club sets. We should be challenging for leagues and for trophies. We haven't been doing that for a while now. It is not what this club expects. We all want to be doing that but with performances like that, there is no way we can be doing that. We have to be honest, we have to be honest with ourselves in the changing room, speak about it."

Shaw felt the Liverpool defeat had been on the cards given the standards of United's recent performances, saying his side have become far too easy to play against.

"It's ourselves we need to look at first and foremost in the mirror. Are we doing everything right and preparing right for the games in ourselves?" he said to Stadium Astro.

"We have the tactics and how the manager wants us to play. At times, we're too easy to play through against. You look at the first goal, it can't be possible that they can have three running through in the first five minutes. We need to be more compact, we need to be better.

"This result was coming. In past games where we've won, we haven't been at our best. We felt that inside the dressing room and today we have to reflect and we have to move on from this because it hurts.

"I think we all know when we're at our best we're capable of playing well. It's not just a team, it's individuals who are not at their best. Me, myself, I'm not. I need to look at myself, see what I'm doing wrong and focus on that.

"At times in the game, we're far too easy to play through against, not just today but it's been a number of games now where it's been happening bit by bit and we can feel that in each game. 

"It happened today and, against a great team like Liverpool, they're going to punish us and they did."

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