United already know their replacements Martial and Lingard
Anthony Elanga is one of two ready-made replacements already at the club, but his own recent breakthrough might not have happened had Martial been available to face Aston Villa earlier this month.
Instead, in a moment of sliding doors, the breakdown in communication between Martial and his manager provided the talented Swedish teenager with his own first-team chance – which he took with both hands.
There had been significant loan interest at Elanga this month but now he is expected to stay at the club for the rest of the season and is firmly in Rangnick’s first-team plans.
United’s other ready-made replacement comes in the form of Hannibal Mejbri, who is expected to be integrated into the senior roster when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 19-year-old is now a full Tunisia international, although he has struggled to impress in the current international tournament. Mejbri was hooked at half-time as Tunisia lost to Mali in their opener and made a late appearance in the loss to Gambia – both tournament wins having come when the young United were a unused replacement.
Despite the unfortunate coincidence, the former Monaco starlet remains highly regarded by the club’s coaches, including Rangnick, and is expected to be more regularly involved in first-team training sessions from next month.