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Nicolas Pepe and six Man Utd stars earn Europa League accolade from UEFA


Manchester United have seen six of their players named in the Europa League squad of the season by UEFA.

The Red Devils were beaten on penalties by Villarreal on Wednesday night as their trophy drought continued.

But several of their players have seen their efforts recognised despite their near miss.

United saw off the likes of Real Sociedad, AC Milan and Roma to make the final in Gdansk after dropping out of the Champions League

Bruno Fernandes, so often the man United turn to, was one of the six to be selected.

The playmaker scored nine times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Europe.



Bruno Fernandes has continued to produce for Man Utd
Bruno Fernandes has continued to produce for Man Utd

Defensive pair Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were also named in the squad. The former missed the final through injury.

Midfielders Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba also earned recognition for their efforts.

Pogba, in the headlines for several reasons this term, scored United’s winner in the San Siro to see off Milan in the last 16.

Edinson Cavani, who notched his side’s equaliser in the final before their penalty defeat, is also selected.

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe was the other Premier League player to be named.



Nicolas Pepe scored six times in Europe this term
Nicolas Pepe scored six times in Europe this term

The Gunners played 14 Europa League matches this term with the Ivorian featuring in 13 of those.

He scored six times including one in the semi-final defeat to Villarreal.

The Spaniards, who claimed their first ever European title, saw a host of their star men included.

Dani Parejo, Gerard Moreno, Raul Albiol and Pau Torres were among them.

The latter is understood to be a United target with Solskjaer seeking a new centre-half this summer.



Pau Torres has been a shining light for Villarreal
Pau Torres has been a shining light for Villarreal

Torres has previously spoken of his desire to experience something new having come through the ranks at Villarreal.

He told Sport : “Players who have gone through important clubs, when they talk about an experience they have had, I like to listen to them, both Paco Alcacer and Raul Albiol or Alberto Moreno.

“They tell you things that you have not yet experienced and that you think you would like to experience.”

Roma’s Edin Dzeko, formerly of Manchester City and Ajax’s Dusan Tadic were also named in the Europa League squad.

Despite United’s efforts in reaching the final – one step further than they got last season – Solskjaer refused to call their season a success.

He said: “No, it’s not a successful season of course. That’s the fine margins in football. Sometimes one kick can decide if a season is successful or not.

“There has been improvement, yes, we were second in the league and nobody really expected that after the start we had and the lack of pre-season.

“The boys have been really good but just came up short tonight on penalties. Trophies matter and that’s what matters at this club, so no (it has not been a successful season).”





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