Manchester United have named their 25-man Champions League squad for the upcoming group stage, notably excluding Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero from the list.
It means that none of the trio will be eligible to play for the club in Europe until at least January when alterations are permitted ahead of the knockout rounds. But even being drafted in at that stage is unlikely when all three are deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Having lost his place as chief back-up goalkeeper to Dean Henderson, Romero in particular was keen to secure a move away by transfer deadline day. That it didn’t happen prompted a furious attack on United from his wife, who accused the club of lacking respect.
Jones and Rojo weren’t seriously linked with new clubs over summer, but neither have been in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans since he set about overhauling the squad in 2019.
United have included all four of their new signings in the official UEFA list, including 18-year-old Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri, which is further evidence of the expectation he will immediately be part of the first-team picture, despite his young age.
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Lee Grant
Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Facundo Pellistri, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay
Forwards: Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Odion Ighalo
There is no place in the 25-man ‘A’ list for Mason Greenwood or Brandon Williams. But United fans needn’t panic about shock omissions because all clubs can use an unlimited ‘B’ list to supplement their squad. The ‘B’ list can be made up of players born on or after 1 January 2019 who have been eligible to play for the club for at least two uninterrupted years since their 15th birthday.
Greenwood and Williams both fit that criteria, which means the club doesn’t have to use up a place in the limited ‘A’ squad list to include them in Champions League games.
The same goes for other home-grown players like Teden Mengi, Ethan Laird and Anthony Elanga, who could potentially feature in the competition, despite being left out of the main squad.
Despite his age, Pellistri has to be included in the ‘A’ list because he has only just arrived at United and therefore does not have the required two years under his belt.