Louis van Gaal has again been critical of Manchester United’s decision to undertake an extensive pre-season tour of the USA, claiming it is the reason for an injury crisis that has seen nine players on the treatment table.
While the tour was a success both in terms of results, with the club winning all of their games, and commercially, Van Gaal was unhappy with the amount of travel involved for each fixture, with around 13,500 miles covered.
It was far from ideal preparation for the Premier League season and Van Gaal believes it was responsible for an unprecedented amount of injuries prior to Manchester United’s opening weekend defeat to Swansea.
“In my career as a trainer, I have never had seven injuries before. Last game it was nine, so we are progressing,” Van Gaal told reporters on Friday.
“It’s a little bit thin in midfield. That is also a problem, but it is very difficult when you have a trip to the US to prepare for the season.”
As Van Gaal explained, midfield is a particular concern for Manchester United ahead of their trip to face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, with four capable of playing in these positions currently sidelined.
Summer acquisition Ander Herrera, who impressed immensely during pre-season, is the latest absentee and he along with Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard.