Marc Skinner reveals Man Utd plans for Grace Clinton, Hinata Miyazawa & Irene Guerrero

  • Marc Skinner addressed Grace Clinton's future amid Tottenham interest
  • Midfielder has spent a hugely successful 2023/24 season on loan with Spurs
  • Hinata Miyazawa & Irene Guerrero have had limited impact since joining
Grace Clinton has played her way into the England squad
Grace Clinton has played her way into the England squad / Tim Clayton - Corbis/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Marc Skinner is expecting Grace Clinton, Hinata Miyazawa and Irene Guerrero to all have big roles at the club next season and beyond.

Clinton has been one of this season's WSL success stories, spending it on loan at a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur, helping the club reach the Women's FA Cup final for the first time and playing her way into the senior England squad on a regular basis.

Unsurprisingly, there is a belief that Spurs want to keep the 21-year-old, who was ineligible to face her parent club at Wembley last weekend, on a permanent transfer and intend to make an approach to achieve that. But, as far as Skinner is concerned, she isn't for sale.

"All I hear is Tottenham want to keep Grace, of course they want to keep Grace. She's a fantastic player," the United boss said this week.

"I got to catch a moment with Grace after the final and explained it's a rubbish situation that she had to miss it. But I've challenged her to get us back there in the future."

Skinner was also defiant against the critics who have questioned why Clinton is still yet to make her United debut almost two years after joining the club, especially when she has proven herself good enough in the eyes of Sarina Wiegman to play for England. But the plan in Manchester was always to send the player out on loan again, having helped Bristol City get promoted last season, because the game time that her development needed wasn’t available amid fierce midfield competition.

"We don't get the credit that we identified her qualities at Everton, brought her to Manchester United, gave her six months, sent her on loan at Bristol – she got experience. She then went on loan to Tottenham to get more experience. I don't think people recognise that," Skinner explained.

"There is a plan for each individual we bring into the club. With Grace, it's absolutely worked. I want to bring her back to the club and be part of what we're doing because I think she has a huge say in how we'll play [in the future]."

Hinata Miyazawa
Hinata Miyazawa missed four months with a broken foot / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

The FA Cup-winning manager also painted an optimistic picture for 2023 World Cup Golden Boot winner Miyazawa, who registered an assist on her home debut and became a semi regular starter prior to suffering a fractured foot that ruled her out for nearly four months. World Cup winner Guerrero also had to deal with injury problems in the first half of the season but has largely been an unused substitute since returning to fitness at the turn of the calendar year.

The flourishing of Lisa Naalsund, a January signing last season who has only become a regular starter in recent months, and Jayde Riviere another 2023 arrival whose impact was delayed. Both had to overcome fitness problems and adapt to a new league and country.

"If you look at Jayde, she was behind Ona [Batlle] and it takes a while to embed into a different football culture – the way that we play. But we identified the skillset that they had," Skinner explained.

"Hinata has fantastic momentum control, the ability to calm everyone else around her. But she has to get used to the physicality. Hini has quite openly said that, in Japan, she's one of the most physical players, but in England she fits in the middle ground. She's experiencing that and learning.

"Iri is exactly that same. She's come from a league that is more cautious in its build-up but more technically proficient. I must stress that Iri has been absolutely magnificent throughout the whole season. Her professionalism is second to none. She's been incredible around the group and is learning how to play our style. It can only build for a better future for Manchester United.

"It's about timing and when to introduce players. If they haven't had a chance right now, they need to work towards that. It's not a free ticket for someone to just play. Our players understand that."