Manchester United’s preseason tour is the perfect place for their next generation of players to show Jose Mourinho what they can do, according to Phil Jones.
United travel to the United States on July 9 for games against LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Youngsters like Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay and Matty Willock are all in with a chance of being named in the squad.
And United defender Jones says it is a good chance for them to make an impression on Mourinho.
“We’ve often played against these kinds of teams in preseason and it’s exciting for the fans in the States to come to the games,” he told United’s official website. “They’re big names and they have big-name players in their sides.
“It’s a good for some of the young players who travel with us to experience matches like that. You can take a lot of positives from preseason and look forward to the start of the season.”
Plans for United’s tour of China last summer were already in place before Mourinho took over from Louis van Gaal.
This time Mourinho has had a key role in the preparations, including organising a week-long training camp in Los Angeles before the first game against LA Galaxy on July 15.
“Everyone is looking forward to it,” Jones said. “We know exactly what the manager expects from us and he knows the players inside and out.
“He’ll have organised this preseason period exactly how he wants it — when we’ll train, when we’ll rest and when we’ll have commercial work to do. I’m sure it will be a great tour and I’m looking forward to it.”
After five games in the United States, United face Valerenga in Oslo and Sampdoria in Dublin before the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Skopje, Macedonia, on Aug. 8.
United’s Premier League season starts with West Ham’s visit to Old Trafford on Aug. 12.
Jones added: “The more matches you play, the more match-fit you are and seven games will give everyone a chance to get minutes under their belts.
“You need everyone at a good level for the start of the season. It’s hard work, a lot of travelling, and time and effort being put in by everyone. But it’s all about getting ready for the start of the season and preparing for the first game.”
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.