A tough encounter at Leicester last quarter deprived Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of such an opportunity, having given Mason Greenwood his full debut against Cardiff City a year earlier.
Even Jose Mourinho got into the act, at least once, granting starts for Joel Pereira, Demetri Mitchell, Axel Tuanzebe and Joshua Harrop for the last game of the season four years ago, days before the final of the Europa League.
This time around, it could be Anthony Elanga, Hannibal Mejbri, Shola Shoretire and Will Fish fighting the Wolves on Sunday, but there are reasons to suggest that the oldest member of the team from Solskjaer is also expected to be involved.
With no new deal struck this weekend, this could be the last time we see veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant on a United matchday squad, with David de Gea set to start the final of the Europa League and Dean Henderson his deputy in Gdansk – although Grant could bench. as a third-choice goalkeeper due to the larger team size allowed in European competition.
Grant, 38, arrived at United three years ago after the signings of Diogo Dalot and Fred. Many were hoping he would be a bonus buy in the summer transfer window – he ended up being Jose Mourinho’s final signing.
In three years at the club, the former Stoke shooter only came onto the pitch twice, once as a substitute in the League Cup loss to Derby following the expulsion of Sergio Romero, the another defeated against Astana for a dead rubber Europa. Championship match in November 2019.
That night in Kazakhstan, six youngsters made their senior debut as Grant remains lonely for the club – he deserves at least one more thank you before potentially leaving in a few weeks.
While cynics may argue that Grant has one of the easiest jobs in football, he’s certainly supportive, he established himself as a respectable figure during his time at Old Trafford and is hugely popular among the first team.
Do you think Lee Grant deserves a final appearance for United? Let us know in the comments below.
The veteran always remains a key part of the training sessions, acting not only as a goalkeeper coach, but also as a reliable participant in shooting drills who maintains high standards of professionalism knowing that he is might never make another appearance for the club.
“If Manchester United loved having me for another year it would be a wonderful result for me,” he admitted in March. “I’m definitely enjoying my time at the club, they’ve been great to me.
“Otherwise, I’m up for whatever is available. We had a bit of a Covid crisis in terms of staff (against Newcastle), so I had to mingle with the staff.
“I was our goaltender coach for the night – I took on all the duties of goaltender coach, which I loved. I like to do that and I know the staff and the players like having me with me.
With Sergio Romero set to leave at the end of the season and the real possibility of De Gea or Henderson following him, it could well be a new goalkeeper service when the squad reunite for the start of the preseason in some months. the time of the month.
Solskjaer does the right thing by letting go of Grant, given that he has enough reinforcement in both Nathan Bishop and Matej Kovar for a possible third-choice role, but before stepping down – as a player in the less – that would be nice. to see him given one last chance to wear the shirt with pride.
Just as Pep Guardiola rewarded Scott Carson with a once-in-a-blue moon appearance last week, maybe it’s time for United to give their own unsung hero one last wish.