Solskjaer demolishes Varane question after hinting at Man Utd team changes

Date published: Saturday 21st August 2021 8:05 - Steve Pearson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Man Utd, May 2021

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho could feature this weekend, and ate up an obvious question about the French defender.

After a 5-1 demolition of Leeds last weekend, Solskjaer could be forgiven for resisting the urge to change his personnel ahead of their clash with Southampton on Sunday. However, Sancho and Varane have not been brought in to warm the bench.

And speaking in his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer hinted the pair could start the contest after admitting they have got “minutes” under their belt.

“Well, you’ll see you on Sunday,” said Solskjaer when asked about the new Man Utd pair. “They’ve worked well, they’ve had minutes.

“We’ve had a very good week ourselves and we’ll see who is making the flight down on Saturday.”

One player who is unlikely to feature from the off, however, is Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan arrived back in Manchester late and by Solskjaer’s admission, is “lacking” in match-readyness.

“Edinson’s always looked after himself but is lacking in team training and football training,” said the Norwegian.

“He had different reasons as to why he came late. There were some personal reasons and his body can tolerate a lot, it was something required not physically, a different matter.

“He’s ready to train, ready to go and let’s see how much we can get out of him.”

When probed for an update on goalkeeper Dean Henderson who continues to recover after contracting Covid-19, Solskjaer said: “I think the whole situation around Covid is still unknown and its’s new for everyone, that’s the scary bit.

“You hear people less fit people than footballers have it and [have] no symptoms and footballers get side-effects, tiredness. It’s a scary disease and virus.

“We need to be careful. Dean was tired after training, but now he feels much better. He’s passed all the tests and he’s training, building himself up again because he’s lost a few weeks. He’s working hard on the grass.”


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Solskjaer eulogises over new signing Varane

When asked why Man Utd signed Varane, Solskjaer could barely contain his glee when explaining a laundry list of reasons and traits Varane embodies that meant a transfer made perfect sense.

“I think if you’ve followed football the last 10 years, that’s the reason we wanted to sign him,” added Solskjaer. “It’s no secret we were close when he left for Real Madrid 10 years ago. Sir Alex was there speaking to them, we were close

“And ever since, his performances on the pitch, behaviour and demeanour off the pitch tell me that’s a Man Utd player and we tried to convince him to have the feeling of Man Utd.

“That’s been in his heart ever since he went and we have had feelings for him for many, many years.

“Champions League wins, World Cup wins, everything about him is class. Quick, strong, good in the air, can play with both feet.

“The short answer is everything about him is what you want. He’s been humble, he’s inquisitive, he asks questions.

“He doesn’t want to learn by a mistake in the game, he wants to learn it on the training field. Everything about him has been impressive.”

READ MORE: Man Utd ‘plot’ iconic transfer with Mbappe on dazzling four-strong wish-list

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