Manchester United have welcomed FA Youth Cup winning defender Rhys Bennett back from injury.
Jonny Evans made his 200th game for Manchester United on Saturday night, keeping a clean sheet and assisting in a 2-0 win over Burnley.
Evans joined United in the summer, and it’s probable he wouldn’t have signed at all if Rhys Bennett hadn’t been injured in the first pre-season game.
Bennett excelled against Leeds in Oslo in early July before being ruled out of the pre-season tour due to injury, prompting Evans’ selection.
Rhys Bennett makes return
Rhys Bennett is now fit again after making his return for Manchester United’s under-21 side at the weekend.
Bennett returned to training earlier this month and Saturday’s game was his first match since the pre-season win over Leeds.
United’s under-21s lost 4-2 to Arsenal, with Mateo Mejia and Omari Forson on target for the Red Devils.
For Bennett, it was all about getting minutes in the the tank and coming through the game unscathed, and the timing is important.
Rhys Bennett has chance for Carabao Cup clash
Manchester United finds themselves grappling with a defensive injury crisis as they head into the weekend clash against Burnley. The unavailability of key players like Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire has exacerbated the situation, and although Raphael Varane has made a return, it’s been in a limited capacity, with brief appearances off the bench.
Furthermore, injuries have begun to take their toll on the full-back positions as well, making it even more crucial to bolster their defensive options. In this context, Bennett emerges as a potential savior.
The upcoming Carabao Cup match against Crystal Palace presents a golden opportunity for Bennett to step up, at the very least earning a place on the substitute’s bench. Familiar with the grandeur of Old Trafford, where he previously led United’s under-18s to a memorable FA Youth Cup victory and even found the back of the net in the final, Bennett has demonstrated his capability on the big stage.
His performances in the winter friendlies held in Spain last December left a lasting impression on both Erik ten Hag and teammate Tom Heaton, until an unfortunate injury disrupted his momentum in early 2023.
Now, with his return to fitness coinciding with the team’s pressing needs, Bennett’s fortunes may be on the upswing, offering a timely boost to both his personal prospects and the team’s defensive solidity.