Louis van Gaal eyes late-season Manchester United surge when injuries subside

SoccerBy Sunday World
The Dutchman gestures during United's FA Cup victory
The Dutchman gestures during United's FA Cup victory

Louis van Gaal revealed that David De Gea could return this week to ease Manchester United's injury crisis after their routine win at Shrewsbury, while the manager hopes to have many currently-injured senior players available in March.

United cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory at Greenhous Meadow on Monday that booked a home tie with West Ham.

Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard scored to avoid an upset as Van Gaal picked a squad without 13 first-team players.

Wayne Rooney is sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo remain out, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Will Keane limped off in Shropshire.

De Gea suffered a knee injury in the warm up ahead of United's 2-1 Europa League defeat to FC Midtjylland but Van Gaal hopes to have him back for the return tie on Thursday, or for Sunday's visit of Arsenal.

"It was not so heavy the injury, so it is possible for Thursday but it is also possible against Arsenal," he said.

"It (the Midtjylland match) in my opinion is a big game because it's a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season. But we have to win a lot of matches of course, it's easily spoken about but doing it is different.

"But it is possible and then we'll see. I think in March a lot of players are coming back and then we'll have a full selection, and with our full selection we were first in the Premier League."