As well as Bruno: Ten Hag could unleash Man Utd’s £18m-rated “team player” vs Brighton

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As the aftermath from Manchester United’s embarrassing Europa League loss to Sevilla on Thursday night continues, there are numerous reports that manager Erik ten Hag is planning a significant purge at Old Trafford this summer.

The Carabao Cup champions will continue their quest for additional hardware on Sunday afternoon when they take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup, giving the Red Devils little time to reflect on that Spanish surrender.

The top-four contenders will face a team that has recently consistently defeated them in that semi-final matchup at Wembley. The Seagulls, in particular, defeated the Seagulls 2-1 in Ten Hag’s inaugural match as manager back in August.

Bruno Fernandes’ return from suspension will be a huge advantage for the Dutchman going into tomorrow’s match against Roberto De Zerbi’s team. The Portugal international was sorely missed after missing the journey to Andalusia.

With the former Sporting CP star a player who truly “leads by example” with his quality both in and out of possession, United missed the important playmaker “massively” against the La Liga team, as BBC expert Clinton Morrison observed.

It may be time to reintroduce the divisive enigma, Fred, to the starting lineup with the £240k per week player’s return as part of a midfield shuffle against the south coast team.

Will Fred make his debut versus Brighton?

It is fair to assume that the midfield trio of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, and Marcel Sabitzer underwhelmed their previous opponents, with the three seasoned players being “schooled” on the day, according to journalist Tyrone Marshall of the Manchester Evening News.

It appears that Eriksen, who had previously shone against Nottingham Forest last weekend, had a forgettable evening. The Danish star, who has only recently returned from injury, will soon make way for the aforementioned Fred.

After being largely on the sidelines following the 7-0 loss at Anfield at the beginning of last month, the latter player was just a late replacement in Thursday’s disastrous performance away in Seville.

The 30-year-old was only a late substitute in the previous round of the FA Cup against Fulham and has yet to make a single Premier League start since that shocking thrashing.

However, the Brazilian international, who may be among those to leave this summer, would undoubtedly bring new life and vigour to Ten Hag’s midfield after being dubbed a “mosquito” by the Ajax manager for his pestilential performance against Barcelona in February.

The £18 million machine has also been characterised as a “team player” who “puts in every effort that he has” by interim manager Ralf Rangnick. However, such effort and work ethic appeared to be lacking as United merely “wilted” in midweek, in the words of The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.

Even while the rumours that the former Shakhtar Donetsk player would be sold would suggest that he is not the long-term midfield solution for Ten Hag, he could very well represent the answer in the short-term at least, starting tomorrow against Brighton.

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