The good news for Manchester United fans is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given a hefty kitty by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to strengthen his side’s defence for next season. But the interim manager wants the priority to be the signing of attacking players, instead of new defenders.
Victor Lindelof was off the boil in the 2-0 loss against Arsenal in the weekend, with the 24-year-old putting in one of his worst performances of 2019. It said it all about the Swede’s performance that the often-divisive figure Chris Smalling was the calmer of the two centre backs, and Solskjaer feels that both deserve more chances to prove themselves.
United were heavily linked with a move for England World Cup hero Harry Maguire last summer, but Woodward decided not to sanction funds for the Leicester defender’s signing to former boss Jose Mourinho. Ironically, now that the Old Trafford head honcho wants to splash the cash on a defender, United’s current manager has no intention of doing so.
The Sun reports that the Norwegian’s priority right now is a right winger who can score as well as supply goals for Marcus Rashford. United have been constantly linked with bringing Jadon Sancho back to the Premier League from Borussia Dortmund, where he has excelled this season. The United legend is also keeping a keen eye on Juventus star Douglas Costa and Inter Milan wide man Ivan Perisic.
Luke Shaw has also been impressed by Solskjaer thanks to his positive impression on the United dressing room, which have not only ensured results have dramatically improved under the former striker but also that the entire mood around Old Trafford has also been lifted. “It’s really positive, the mood in the camp is so good at the moment,” Shaw told Premier League Productions.
“It’s really enjoyable to be around it, and all the positive stuff is, I feel, showing on the pitch with each player. Especially the ones that have come in and taken their chances. With the injured ones, I think everyone is trying to stake a claim for their name on the team sheet. I think that’s showing in the results, and that’s only good for us to have that competition in the team.”
It looks increasingly likely that Solksjaer will be named permanent manager sooner rather than later, and he has earned the rights to prove himself on a full-time basis thanks to United’s record since he took over in December. Else, all this talk of him rejecting moves that Woodward wants to make would not be making the rounds. Regarding the actual news, it makes sense that Solksjaer looks to strengthen the problem area, and the right side of midfield has been one such position since the retirement of the great Sir Alex Ferguson. The defensive positions have more depth for now, and if the interim manager can sign someone for the right side of midfield, then he will surely turn his attentions to defence.
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