ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Ten Hag wants Zidane Iqbal to stay at Manchester United

Zidane Iqbal, Six Sports

Zidane Iqbal is set to stay at Manchester United this season. This is at the back of a host of impressive performances for the Red Devils in the preseason. 

Named after the mercurial French midfielder, Zidane will have a lot of expectations to fulfil. It seems though that he has started fairly well in his journey of professional football.

He notably became the first South Asian to play for the Red Devils last year. Zidane entered the game in the 89th minute of United’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Young Boys in December 2021.

In World Cup qualifying matches against Iran and Lebanon, he came off the bench for the Iraqi national team due to his improvement over the previous 12 months.

Zidane Iqbal: The Next Big Thing?

The Carrington graduate has demonstrated the ability to adjust to his manager’s expectations. He was frequently used in a defensive role throughout the preseason, despite being a more attack-minded player. However, he impressed both his coach and the crowd with his flamboyance and composure under pressure.

He notably held his own against Liverpool in a friendly at Bangkok. Zidane never looked out of place against the likes of Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Kieta.

After this, Ten Hag has decided to keep Zidane at Old Trafford, where he can personally monitor his development. The Dutchman has a penchant for working with young midfielders. Frenkie de Jong looked like the world’s finest regista under his tutelage. United fans will hope that the Iraqi international can replicate his success. 

The 22-year-old played 46 league games while on loan at Mansfield during the previous season. However, his team was unable to advance to League One after losing the play-off final.

A host of midfielders have left Old Trafford this summer. They include Andreas Perriera, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, and Nemanja Matic. This may perhaps allow Zidane to get minutes for the first team this season.

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