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Erik ten Hag has issued a positive update on four Manchester United players amid injury concerns for Saturday’s clash with Brighton and Hove Albion. But the Dutchman has offered a less optimistic assessment of Antony’s availability as he addresses allegations of abuse in Brazi.
Antony has vehemently denied all allegations and has vowed to prove his innocence away from the United spotlight. Ahead of Brighton’s visit at Old Trafford, Ten Hag admitted he had ‘no idea’ when the 23-year-old winger would be in contention to play again.
When asked whether he had spoken with Antony after mutually agreeing a leave of absence, Ten Hag added: “Of course, he is disappointed, but he is okay.” But the United boss was happy to provide fans with a more positive update on four players who were considered doubts for club football’s return this weekend.
Ten Hag has confirmed that Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez are available for selection against the Seagulls. Both withdrew during United’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, sparking fears that Ten Hag had lost more starting players.
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But Martinez, in particular, was expected to be unavailable on Saturday after not featuring in either of Argentina’s games against Ecuador and Bolivia during the international break.
Lindelof and Martinez are likely to start against Brighton, leaving Harry Maguire out of Ten Hag’s team for the fifth consecutive game this season. The former is covering for Raphael Varane, who suffered an injury in United’s 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest last month.
But Ten Hag has revealed that Varane and Mason Mount, absent since the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in matchday two, are nearing comebacks.
“No [neither are ready to play against Brighton], but both are in a good place for a return,” Ten Hag explained.
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Ten Hag may be set to snub Maguire again, but he has joined prominent figures in slamming against the 30-year-old’s relentless mockery while playing for club and country.
Maguire was a victim of sarcastic cheers after coming on as a substitute against Arsenal and Scotland this month. He netted an own goal in the second half at Hampden Park.
But Ten Hag has hailed his former captain’s ability, urging him to block out the hate as he fights for his United career.
He said: “I have said many times it is disrespectful. He doesn’t deserve it. He is a great player and gives great performances. It is crazy, but how it works. Harry has to block this.
“[He’s dealing with it] good, you see his career, a lot to come, he has to block it with good performances.”
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