Europa Final: Fit-again Chukwueze may play, Maguire out

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Samuel Chukwueze is in line to make his Villarreal return in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Manchester United.

The Nigeria international was among the Yellow Submarine squad that landed in Gdansk, Poland – where the winner will be decided.

The 22-year-old was stretchered off in pain during the second leg last-four clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium as his team held their hosts to a goalless draw.

A 2-1 win from the first-leg helped them advance to the final and they will battle the Red Devils for the European crown inside the Miejski Stadium.

In the wake of the problem, he missed matches against Celta Vigo, Real Valladolid, Sevilla and Real Madrid.

“Medical tests carried out on Samuel Chukwueze have confirmed muscular damage to the quadriceps in his left leg, which he picked up during the second leg of the Uefa Europa League semi-final against Arsenal FC,” a club statement read.

“The recovery time depends on the player’s progress.”

With the latest development, Chukwueze is in contention for Unai Emery’s side after recovering from the injury setback.

The youngster has been a key part of Emery’s selection this season and he recently rediscovered his goalscoring boots with three goals in his last four Spanish elite division outings.

Overall, the winger has contributed five goals and six assists in 39 matches across all competitions in the 2020-21 campaign.

In the Spanish top flight, Villarreal finished a disappointing seventh after accruing 58 points from 38 matches played.

Against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, Chukwueze would be hoping to win his first major title with Villarreal since joining them from Diamond Football Academy after helping Nigeria win the 2017 Fifa U17 World Cup in Chile.

Meanwhile Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not expecting Harry Maguire to feature in the continental clash with Villarreal.

The England defender has remained a serious doubt for Manchester United for their Europa League final clash with Villarreal, and has been told that he will need to train on Tuesday in order to have any hope of playing in the continental showpiece.

Given the England international defender is nursing ankle ligament damage and has not played since hobbling out of the win at Aston Villa on May 9, the expectation is that the Red Devils will be without their captain today.

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