Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has rejected questions about Jadon Sancho’s form and insisted that the summer signing will shine in a Manchester United shirt.

Sancho scored 16 goals and had 20 assists in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund last season, but has yet to register in any of the categories since his £ 73million move to Old Trafford this summer.

England manager Gareth Southgate suggested that Sancho’s latest form was not worthy of the international call he received on Thursday, saying he would need help settling in the Premier League.

But Solskjær was left to ask if Southgate had seen the night before, when Sancho played 75 minutes of United’s 2-1 victory in the Champions League over Villarreal.

“Was that interview done before Wednesday night?” he said when Southgate’s comments were made to him on Thursday afternoon.

“Jadon was unique, he was electric. The audience loved him and I think he felt that connection.

“He was direct, positive, he went past the back many times. Yes, he has not scored yet, but I thought, ‘it’s Jadon and we’ll get to see a lot of it.’

“Gareth has also said that it is important that Jadon knows (England) believes in him and invests in him.”

Although Sancho was included in the English squad for World Cup qualifiers against Hungary and Andorra, Southgate chose to leave Mason Greenwood out, claiming the young striker should rest – a verdict Solskjær supported.

Mason Greenwood celebrates goals vs Wolves
Mason Greenwood has three goals in eight games for Man Utd this season

“Gareth had an honest conversation with Mason and his family and they know the situation,” he said. “He also knows that Mason is really keen to play for England.

“Gareth understands that the boy is only 20 – he turned 20 today [Friday]. He’s going to be a top player for England and for Manchester United, but he needs to be managed in the right way.

“It gives us a chance to work on his fitness, but also to give him a break because he has played in many, many matches with a high intensity.”

While Sancho and Greenwood both started against Villarreal, it was another frustrating night on the bench for Donny van de Beek, who has only started two of nine games this season and has only started four Premier League games since joining Ajax last summer.

“He knows he’s not frozen out,” Solskjær said. “It’s Manchester United. When you’re a headline player and you do not play, it will always make headlines, but I have a lot of them every week who do not play.

“I have no problem with Donny at all. He knows what to work with and he is diligent in his work. He has never let his mood affect his teammates negatively. You have to have that fire in your stomach if you are to cope. . “

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær says he understands Donny van de Beek’s frustration over lack of minutes, but insists he needs ‘positive energy’ from all his players

Marcus Rashford returned to full contact training on Friday, and Solskjær suggested that he could be back in action after the international break.

“I hope he will be involved against Leicester (on October 16),” said Solskjær. “He has trained and physically worked really hard and joined the group like a float so no one tackles him.

“Today was the first day he could be tackled and it has happened, so let’s hope he gets in control and finds his moves. There are many, many reasons why he could be involved against Leicester.”

Southgate backs Sancho, but admits he does not deserve England’s place

Gareth Southgate admits that Jadon Sancho’s form at Manchester United has not been good enough to deserve a call to England, but included him in his latest squad to show he maintains “faith” in the striker.

Gareth Southgate (PA)
Gareth Southgate on Thursday named his England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary

“Does he deserve to be a part of these performances over the last few weeks? Probably not,” Southgate said of the former Manchester City youngster.

“But I think we feel that we have invested in Jadon over a period of time, we believe he can reach a high level.

“I would like to have some time with him to chat and help the process that is also going on at Manchester United and I think he feels we have faith in him at this point is a good message.

“Then again we are talking about there being no perfect solution here and you can easily throw another name at me which we have previously omitted and say, ‘well you did not handle them the same way’.

“We individually try to do the right thing at the right time, send the right message, and sometimes the right message is to leave a player, maybe they respond, and that’s the right thing to do. But we feel with Jadon at the moment that it’s important for us to keep him with us. “

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