Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that there are no “bad apples” left in his squad after sorting out the “personal agendas” of some players last season.
Solskjaer, who was made interim United boss in December 2018, enjoyed a blistering start to his Old Trafford tenure before results turned sour following his permanent appointment in the role.
Alongside the drop in form, Solskjaer had to gel his newly-inherited squad – which was cut in last summer with the departures of, among others, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.
In return, Solskjaer brought in Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and despite a poor season overall, the Red Devils were unbeaten in 11 matches before the season was halted.
“I’d rather have a hole in the squad than an a**ehole,” the manager said. “Personality is so important. We’re a team in a team environment.
“You want players to have a bit of ego and edge but they have to be able to adapt. In March 2019, players were physically tired, mentally tired and we had injuries.
“The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it’s positive thinking. There were other things I didn’t like last year – some personal agendas which couldn’t be sorted out until the summer.”
He added: “There will always be players who want to play more in football, but if a team is to be successful then players have to be available at different times.
“I feel in this group we don’t have one bad apple.”
Arguably the most high-profile exit last summer was Lukaku, who moved to Inter Milan for £74million.
The Belgium international revealed earlier this year that Solskjaer wanted him to stay, but Lukaku insisted his time at Old Trafford was “done”.
Reports later claimed that Lukaku avoided being picked by Solskjaer in the final few months of his Old Trafford by complaining of niggling injuries, which led the manager to sanction his sale.
Sanchez, meanwhile, was an outcast in the United squad during pre-season and his loan move to Inter was confirmed at the end of August.
In other news, United are reportedly watching with intent after Barcelona’s plan for a fire sale this summer emerged.
The LaLiga giants are expected to allow several players to leave in the upcoming transfer window in an effort to balance their books.