The club’s latest training pictures ahead of Wednesday night’s trip to Old Trafford reveal that Nacho Monreal has made a welcome return to first team training, but there’s no sign of Mesut Ozil.
It doesn’t categorically rule the German out of the game, but after missing the North London derby with a reported back ache, it makes his inclusion in the squad unlikely.
Yesterday, Unai Emery provided a small update about the situation, saying, “Today he was working alone, I don’t know if he’s OK for Wednesday.
“I said yesterday he’s had backache since last Tuesday. He couldn’t play in Kiev or yesterday.
“At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester.”
There’s a wider question too that if the boss deemed Bournemouth away too physically intense for Ozil, surely United would be considered more difficult in that regard.
Jose Mourinho’s side are second in the Premier League stats table in terms of fouls committed per game, with an average of 12.4, Bournemouth make the least number with an average of 8.8.
Bournemouth also make the fewest tackles per game with 11.9 (shared with Man City).
With so much football to play this month having the undoubted talent of Ozil available to us would be very welcome as on his day he can produce exceptional moments and performances, so let’s hope this back ache clears up and we can see him back to something approaching his best sooner rather than later.