Manchester United have announced their squad for the upcoming group stage of the Champions League, including Scottish midfielder, Darren Fletcher.
The news confirms that Darren Fletcher is well and truly on the mend and close to first team action once more after a long time out of the side with illness, and could prove a massive boost for United in the middle of the park.
All of United’s big names feature on the list, including new boys Shinji Kagawa, Robin Van Persie, Alexander Buttner and even young Nick Powell, who has yet to make his senior debut in competitive competition since signing during the off-season.
United will be hoping to improve on last season’s shambolic European campaign, in which they failed to qualify from the group stages of the Champions League before being knocked out by Athletic Bilbao in the quarter finals of the Europa League, and Mike Phelan has spoken of the club’s determination to succeed once more in Europe:
“Europe’s always big at this football club. The traditions are set within the European boundaries for Manchester United, and we know we have to do better.
“We let Europe slip from our grasp too easily last year. The players are conscious of that, although we haven’t dwelt on it as that wouldn’t be positive. We’ve put it down as a blip – but we know we have to do better.
“You learn it’s a team game, even though individuals change matches. Everybody has to be fully focused for the entire match, from first to last whistle.
“I think we also know that we need to score plenty of goals. The old days of being able to win the league by grinding out 1-0 victories is gone. In this league now, every goal counts – we want to create more chances and score more goals.”
The full registered squad, as listed on ManUtd.com, is:
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Anders Lindegaard, Sam Johnstone*
Defenders: Rafael, Patrice Evra, Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Alexander Büttner, Marnick Vermijl*, Michael Keane*
Midfielders: Antonio Valencia, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Nani, Ashley Young, Paul Scholes, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Nick Powell, Larnell Cole*, Jesse Lingard*, Ryan Tunnicliffe*
Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa, Federico Macheda*, Joshua King*
* denotes ‘B’ list, which according to UEFA is:
“A player may be registered on List B if he is born on or after 1 January 1991 and has been eligible to play for the club for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA.
“Players aged 16 may be registered on List B if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption.”