Zidane Iqbal has rejected an international call-up by Iraq, as he looks to impress Man United boss, Erik ten Hag.
Over the summer, without doubt the biggest surprise was the performances from Zidane Iqbal.
The young man was an unexpected participant during pre-season tour, though he thrived under Erik ten Hag from day one.
Accurate passing, a great work ethic, ability to avoid the press and looking more than comfortable in and around the first team. Iqbal looked the part.
Sadly, we’re yet to see Iqbal feature for the first-team since the serious stuff started. Though it’s clearly not for the want of trying…
According to the Manchester Evening News, the United starlet has rejected an international call-up from Iraq in order to ‘focus on his development’ at Old Trafford.
Rather than heading off to play a semi-final against Oman, Iqbal will now get the chance to work with Ten Hag day-in-day-out for the next few weeks, getting even more of the manager’s focus as several senior players are away playing for their respective nations.
Obviously, this is a bold call by Iqbal, who is proud of his Pakistani heritage while also being thrilled to get another call-up by Iraq.
At this young stage of his career, though, I fully understand the reasoning behind Iqbal’s decision. It’s the club that pays his wages and the only way he’ll develop as a footballer is by playing week-in-week-out for the Red Devils.
There’s only so much Zidane can learn by training with Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and others. He needs those first-team minutes.
Ten Hag placed real faith in Iqbal by rejecting loan offers, ensuring the young man remains at the AON Training Complex this season. With the Europa League now in full flow and the EFL Cup just around the corner, I hope we get to see him in action soon.
Do you think this is a wise decision by Zidane Iqbal to reject Iraq? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.