Young centre-half joins squad – but still no word on Cristiano Ronaldo

Harry Maguire was happily waving to supporters as he prepared to board the team coach after Tuesday’s game against Liverpool at the Rajamangala Stadium when a man started racing towards the United captain shouting “Harry! Harry!”. 

He ended up being stopped in his tracks before he could get to Maguire by United’s security staff, presumably mistaking him for an over-zealous fan but clearly unaware that the person they had just halted was the game’s principal organiser, Vinij Lertratanachai. 

Hopefully Lertratanachai, who had been presented with a ceremonial plate by Erik ten Hag in advance of the match, got to say goodbye to some of Maguire’s team-mates without the same difficulty. 

There was an interesting choice of referee for United’s game against Liverpool with the team-sheet listing one Andrea Marriner as the official in charge. Turned out it was just a typo in the end. 

With Maguire not risked because of a minor injury, Axel Tuanzebe also unavailable and Phil Jones in Manchester working on an individual fitness programme, Alex Telles had to be drafted into central defence alongside Eric Bailly for the second half against Liverpool with Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof among the half-time changes. 

As a result, United have decided to fly 19-year-old Will Fish out to Melbourne for the second leg of the tour as cover in the position so Telles does not have to play as a makeshift centre-half again. 

United’s first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea came off against Liverpool with a second-half injury that Ten Hag will hope is nothing too serious.

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