Manchester United have been faced with another blow after new signing Sofyan Amrabat was forced to withdraw from international duty with an injury.
The Moroccan midfielder joined United on an initial season-long loan on deadline day from Fiorentina, with the Red Devils paying the Italian side an £8million loan fee with the option to make the deal permanent next summer for £21m.
Amrabat shot to prominence late last year when he was a key part of Morocco’s memorable run to the World Cup semi-finals as they became the first ever African side to reach the final four of the tournament, playing every minute in Qatar.
Erik ten Hag‘s side – who chased the midfielder all summer before finally getting their man – have endured a difficult start to the season after picking up just six points from four games, with the Dutchman hoping his new addition would come in and make an immediate impact.
However, there is now concern for United after Amrabat was replaced in the Morocco squad for this week’s international fixtures due to injury.
Man United midfielder Sofyan Amrabat has withdrawn from Morocco’s squad due to injury
The midfielder joined United on deadline day on an initial loan, with a £21million option to buy
Your browser does not support iframes.
The Atlas Lions are due to play both Liberia and Burkina Faso, with the first of those two clashes an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, while the latter is just a friendly.
The severity of Amrabat’s injury is yet to be disclosed, although The Athletic reported earlier this week how United detected a back problem during his medical.
Nevertheless, the issue is not thought to be serious and they will hope to have the 27-year-old back to full fitness as soon as possible.
However, it does raise questions over his potential availability for their clash with Brighton on September 16, with United then embarking upon a hectic schedule over the next few months.
They are generally set to play three games a week as their Champions League and Carabao Cup campaigns get underway.
Speaking earlier this week, Amrabat revealed he had been inspired by a trio of legendary United midfield stars when he was growing up.
‘I think United had so many fantastic players and young midfielders,’ Amrabat told the club website.
‘So, in general, I look more to the midfielders, like Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, David Beckham.
The 27-year-old shot to prominence with Morocco at the World Cup at the end of last year
Amrabat is expected to provide much needed depth to manager Erik ten Hag’s midfield
‘But there were so many big players. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney, [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I can go on for one hour to say names.’
The 27-year-old also revealed his pride at becoming Man United’s first Moroccan player, joking that the club will have gained ‘an extra million’ fans with his arrival.
‘I’m very proud,’ Amrabat said. ‘I think already a lot of Moroccans have followed United, but now [there will be] a lot of extra million fans from Morocco.
‘And they are so, so proud. I hope that I can make the fans for United and also them very, very happy and proud.’