Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he expects Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to miss the Europa League final against Villarreal.
An integral part of the set-up since his big-money move from Leicester in 2019, the 28-year-old was forced off in the comeback win at Aston Villa on May 9 after Anwar El Ghazi awkwardly landed on him. Maguire suffered ankle ligament damage in the incident but Solskjaer had been upbeat about the Red Devils skipper returning to lead the side out in Wednesday’s final in Gdansk.
However, Solskjaer’s positivity has waned and the United boss expects the England international to miss the shot at glory against Villarreal.
“He’s walking but it’s a long way from walking to running so, to be honest, I don’t think we’ll see him in Gdansk, no,” the Norwegian said after the centre-back was pictured walking without crutches on Thursday evening.
“But, as I’ve said so many times, I’m going to give him until Tuesday night, the last training session, and see if he can try to be out there.
“Steadily but surely he’s improving but ligaments they take time to heal.”
Solskjaer expects the defender to play an important role off the field in Poland if, as expected, he does not make it.
“He’s a very important person in the dressing room and a leader,” the United boss said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Wolves.
“Before the fans came in, I think you all heard him from the stands.
“He does still want the team to do well, of course, he’s organising even from the stands, which has been easy because it’s been so quiet.
“So, he’ll come (to Poland), he’ll be in the dressing room, he’ll make sure everyone’s ready for the final.”
Anthony Martial is another player who could miss the final.
United travel to Wolves for their final Premier League game on Sunday and Solskjaer has ruled out a return the striker. Martial has been missing since March with a knee injury.
“You want to go into the final with loads of energy and confidence, so we’ll make a few changes, freshen up a few, rest a few who’ve been really playing and been regulars in the team,” said Solskjaer.
“We’ve done really well away from home, enjoy it and get some minutes into a few who might need it before the final.
“Anthony’s not going to be available,” Solskjaer clarified. “Scott and Fred should be okay.”
Scott McTominay and Fred both suffered knocks in the 1-1 draw with Fulham.