Teamwork makes the dream work

FA Cup conflict with Lewes is ideal alternative for Man Utd debut

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Manchester United followers are nonetheless eagerly awaiting a debut for file signing Lisa Naalsund, who joined the membership from SK Brann through the January switch window.

United paid a considerable payment for Naalsund and handed the Norway worldwide a long-term contract till 2026 – solely Ella Toone has a deal for as lengthy among the many present squad.

Even with that stage of funding, the truth that she didn’t make her debut immediately was not a shock. Naalsund’s 2022 season in Norway had completed in early November, which meant by the point she joined United in late January she hadn’t performed for the most effective a part of three months.

The 27-year-old successfully needed to do a pre-season to boost her health to match ranges. The goal was at all times March, initially late March, and steadily got here ahead. She was then declared match and able to play forward of the WSL conflict with Leicester initially of the month.

Naalsund didn’t get on the pitch that day, despite the fact that United racked up the score-line within the second half at residence towards the league’s backside facet – supervisor Marc Skinner used up all his different substitutes getting minutes into the legs of others.


An away journey to Chelsea was at all times going to be a troublesome ask. However with United struggling to seek out methods of breaking the Blues’ intentionally compact low block, it might have been value a bet, particularly as a result of Skinner has beforehand praised her ‘mentality, field to field driving runs, and need to win’.

The United boss has a selected method of taking part in and normally refrains from throwing new gamers in on the deep finish, preferring as a substitute to have everybody first grasp his system. That’s solely intensified becoming a member of a crew already performing effectively halfway by way of a season.

Forward of dealing with Lewes within the FA Cup, Skinner has mentioned that each Naalsund and fellow January arrival Estelle Cascarino are ‘getting nearer when it comes to understanding how we play’. Canadian full-back Jayde Riviere will possible undergo the identical course of when she is quickly totally match.

On mortgage from Paris Saint-Germain, Cascarino arrived in a extra able to play state and made her debut within the FA Cup towards Sunderland. With United dealing with one other second tier facet in Lewes in Sunday’s quarter-final, it appears an apparent probability to make use of Naalsund for the primary time.

Skinner has described each gamers as ‘future Manchester United’, suggesting the longer-term intention is to make Cascarino’s mortgage a everlasting switch.

Naalsund initially expressed concern in regards to the problem of breaking right into a profitable United facet earlier than she signed – she had seen worldwide teammate Vilde Boe Risa must make do with sporadic appearances, risking her place in Norway’s 2023 World Cup within the course of. Because it occurs, Boe Risa is now beginning to get just a few extra alternatives and is taking them.

Naalsund has impressed to date in coaching and provides a unique type of high quality to the squad when it comes to box-to-box transition. The earlier she begins taking part in, the higher, particularly forward of an excellent shut run-in the place each inch is essential. United will want each benefit they’ll get.

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