Since the return of club football from the World Cup, the International break took over again in the form of Friendlies and UEFA Euro qualifiers.
14 Manchester United first-team players were called up by their National teams around the world and in this article, we take a look at how they fared for their countries in the recent international break.
First, we take a look at the assessment of players called up in Europe for friendlies and the UEFA Euro qualifiers:
Marcel Sabitzer - Austria
Loanee Marcel Sabitzer suffered an injury blow in Austria’s first Euro qualifier match against Azerbaijan which ended in a 4-1 victory for his side. Sabitzer became a menace for Azerbaijan in the game where he scored twice and assisted once, but had to shortly leave the game after tweaking his knee following the restart from half-time.
The Austrian skipper did not train ahead of their match against Estonia and hence was ruled out of the game by former United interim manager, now Austrian NT manager Ralf Rangnick.
Sabitzer has fared well in a holding midfield role at Man United and though he will get some rest, Erik Ten Hag expects him to be ready at full force against Newcastle United on April 2nd.
Harry Maguire - England
Following an elongated spell on the bench at United under new manager Erik Ten Hag, club and England captain Harry Maguire found his paces as he started in the 2-1 win against Italy at Naples. He got booked in the game for a tackle before Mateo Retegui scored the only goal for Italy.
Though unable to help keep a clean sheet against the Azzurri, Maguire synced well and kept The Three Lions’ defence intact against Ukraine as they cruised to a 2-0 victory in their second UEFA Euro Qualifier.
Luke Shaw - England
The Manchester United right-back had a break to forget as he was sent off in the game versus Italy.
Shaw got his first yellow of the night in the 78th minute for time wasting and was given marching orders just two minutes later on for a challenge on Mateo Retegui in what appeared to be a rough situation.
Due to his suspension, he couldn’t feature in the game against Ukraine.
Wout Weghorst - The Netherlands
Striker Wout Weghorst was substituted in the 33rd minute in a night-to forget-for the Dutch team. France riled in 4 goals against the weary Netherlands side which couldn’t do enough to prevent the humiliation.
Like the team, Weghorst couldn’t do much to get his paces together.
The next match against Gibraltar in the Euro Qualifiers was a jubilant one for the Oranje as they won the game 3-0 in dominant fashion. However, the game called in criticism of United’s new signing. The Netherlands recorded an astounding 52 shots but striker Wout Weghorst couldn’t find the net a single time and it appeared to be another harsh night in front of goal for him.
Tyrell Malacia - The Netherlands
The young right-back was substituted late on in both of The Oranje’s games against France and Gibraltar respectively. Due to a lack of playing time, he couldn’t do much of an impact.
Diogo Dalot - Portugal
Portugal had an excellent international break as they scored 10 goals in two games. Diogo Dalot did not feature in the 4-0 victory versus Liechtenstein and started the game versus Luxembourg in a more attacking role from the right flanks.
Bruno Fernandes - Portugal
The attacking midfielder started both games against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg for Portugal. He assisted Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo’s second goal in the 31st minute.
Scott McTominay - Scotland
The Manchester United academy graduate had an exceptional period with his national side. With four goals in two games, he has been on fire for the Scottish contingent. He is being hailed for his amazing brace against Spain in what was expected to be an underdog battle for Scotland but eventually, they registered a 2-0 victory.
Anthony Elanga - Sweden
The 20-year-old did not feature in the 3-0 defeat against Belgium when former United striker Romelu Lukaku scored a magnificent hat-trick.
Great goal by Elanga #MUFC https://t.co/IyJq6gSIqp— Stretty News (@StrettyNews) March 27, 2023
Sweden recovered quickly from their woes and followed up with a dominating 5-0 win versus Azerbaijan. Despite getting only three minutes on the pitch, winger Anthony Elanga showed an exuberant pace before rounding off the goalkeeper and putting the ball in the back of the net.
Victor Lindelof - Sweden
The defender featured for the whole 90 minutes for both matches for Sweden. After having a tough time against Belgium, he and his national side were able to keep a clean sheet and record a statement win over Azerbaijan.
Now, we come to the assessment of players who featured in the South American friendlies:
Lisandro Martinez - Argentina
The passionate defender started both of Argentina’s matches against Panama and Curacao respectively from the bench. The Albiceleste registered comfortable victories in the two friendlies and despite Martinez playing a limited role, they were able to keep two clean sheets.
Antony - Brazil
Antony came on in the second half against Morocco and couldn’t make a meaningful impact as the African side recorded a historic victory over the managerless Selecao.
Casemiro - Brazil
As Brazil went down fighting in a historic night for Morocco, Manchester United midfielder Casemiro showed his usual effervescent spirit as he scored the only goal for the Selecao.
Facundo Pellistri - Uruguay
The 21-year-old started the game versus South Korea but failed to make an impact. The game ended 0-0 as neither team wanted to push themselves and grab the win.