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Max Taylor, a 19-year-old defender, is in Manchester Unitedâs squad for the Europa League game at Astana on Thursday, having recovered from cancer treatment only in September.
It is the first senior call-up for the Manchester-born Taylor after Ole Gunnar SolskjÃ¦r stood down many senior players for the trip to Kazakhstan because United have qualified for the knockout phase before the penultimate Group L match.
Taylor joined United in 2014 following a trial. After a successful 2017-18 season he required chemotherapy for testicular cancer last season. Two months after resuming training he made a first appearance as a substitute in a win for the under-23s in October.
âThe position I was in this time last year, I was in my first few weeks where I had chemotherapy, I wouldnât have thought, a year on, Iâd be travelling with the first team,â Taylor told Unitedâs website.
âIt doesnât matter what the environment is like, just being out there is massive. Itâs been a dream since I can remember ever kicking a ball â being a Manchester United first-team player.â United flew to Kazhakstan on Tuesday afternoon for a 6,000-mile round trip.
Jesse Lingard has rejected suggestions he has taken his focus off football after the launch of his JLingz clothing range last year. âI think people think Iâm actually involved in everything but I donât pack the [clothes] and send them on,â the 26-year-old told the clubâs podcast. âIf you came home with me youâd just think Iâm boring. I just watch Netflix all day, all week. I donât do much else.â
He described himself as âan out-and-out footballerâ and said he avoided being distracted by criticism: âThere are a lot of things on social media, with people saying nasty things. You canât get drawn into all that stuff. I donât read that stuff, I donât read papers.
âThatâs why itâs tough for young footballers coming through now, theyâre so attracted to social media and what people are saying about them.â
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