2 things MU should learn from Man City to limit injuries

Premier Injuries, a website run by Ben Dinnery that records every injury in the Premier League, has revealed the latest Manchester United injury statistics.

As shown in a chart produced by The Athletic, United have a total of 34 injuries in the 2022/2023 season; 6th most in the whole tournament. The key question, however, is whether these injuries will cripple United’s form, especially as the club lacks key players in certain positions on the pitch.

With reaching both domestic cup finals and Europa League quarter-finals, the Red Devils have played 61 matches in all competitions; the most matches of any Premier League team. This dense schedule means they need to rotate squads to limit injuries and keep players healthy.

But one key position that United are clearly lacking is the striker. As the only natural-born striker of Man United after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial has to go through another injury season.

Martial is constantly injured.

He was sidelined with a hamstring injury in 2 weeks of play, 3 weeks with an Achilles tendon injury, 4 weeks with a back injury and another 7 weeks with a hip and an unspecified injury, the French striker only played 21 matches in the Premier League while making 3 appearances in the Europa League. Martial’s lack of confidence led United to sign a striker in January, namely Wout Weghorst, who had been underperforming. Due to a lack of firepower at the front, the Reds are once again on the hunt for the striker, with the likes of Goncalo Ramos, Rasmus Hojlund and Harry Kane all mentioned as potential targets.

While Lisandro Martinez and Rafael Varane have both been sidelined for long periods of time, United’s defence is much better equipped to deal with these absences. Luke Shaw shines in the interim centre-back, building a fruitful partnership with Victor Lindelof that shows United’s defensive depth.

But it was United’s arch-rivals Manchester City that set the standard for player and injury management. City have played only one game less than MU in the recent season, their injured players have missed less than half of the Reds’ games and days. Notably, no Man City player has to sit out for more than 2 months.

Man City has the healthiest squad in the Premier League.

Although United do better than the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United and Liverpool in terms of total injuries, they will have to look to the Premier League champions if they want to remain competitive for next season’s title. Despite the tight schedule, Man City recorded the least number of days absent (447) and the least number of games absent (62) due to injury.

Basically, there are two lessons that Man United can learn from Man City when dealing with injuries.

First, City are in the process of rolling out their new Athlete Management System, which shows they have data insights and close management that can help limit injuries.

Second, Man City build a squad that is spread out and has a lot of depth, so that their players can be rotated regularly.

If United hope to compete with their rivals for titles and reduce injury concerns, they will need to stay busy in the transfer market to expand the depth of their squad.

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