Van Gaal ‘was told’ about the fitness records of Jones, Smalling and Evans.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is concerned about the fitness record of injured defensive trio Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans, report the Mirror, after revealing that he “was told” about the fitness issues of the players before arriving at Old Trafford this summer.
Evans, Jones and Smalling are all set to miss out on this weekend’s Premier League clash against West Ham United, posing a real problem to the beleaguered United boss, who has had to call up youthful duo Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair from the academy to cover for his defensive crisis.
All three have been hampered by fitness issues during their United careers, perhaps explaining the fact that, as of yet, none of them have managed to take on the mantle and prove themselves as the natural successor to either Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, both of whom departed on free transfer this summer.
Ominously for the players in question, van Gaal said that he was well aware of their injuries issues when he took the United job this summer:
“I have been told and now they are confirming that.”
Van Gaal did, however, indicate that he believes that his methods can help stem the flow of injuries that have struck in the Old Trafford camp at the start of this season:
“But I have good hopes that we shall improve in that matter, because normally I don’t have any injuries.”