Date published: Wednesday 5th August 2020 10:45
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered an update on the playing status of a key defender ahead of the Europa League quarter final, and confirmed the night’s prior transfer news regarding Alexis Sanchez.
Man Utd entered the occasion holding a mammoth 5-0 lead after the first leg.
A much changed line-up predictably struggled for attacking rhythm, but the victory was secured nevertheless after substitute Anthony Martial’s impact off the bench.
Speaking to BT Sport regarding his side’s relatively low-key display, Solskjaer said: “We learned the players need to play to keep that sharpness.
“Some of these lads haven’t played for a while and it showed. We won, we gave a debut to a young lad, it’s been a good night.
“It is that sharpness you lack when you don’t play regularly, some haven’t played since lockdown, for me it was a good exercise, it’s job done, minutes under the belt and on to Copenhagen.”
Utd gave a first-team debut to 18-year-old Teden Mengi, and Solskjaer was quick to offer his belief that the player could go far: “He is a leader, a centre-back, someone we believe in, he’s strong, quick, good on the ball and I think we’ve got a decent player there.”
Regarding the availability of regular centre-half Victor Lindelof for the quarter final versus Copenhagen, the Norwegian added: “Victor should be ok to travel.
“It’s great to get Eric [Bailly] through a game again, he’s had his ups and downs with injuries.”
Inter CEO Beppe Moratta confirmed earlier in the evening that Alexis Sanchez would be officially announced in the blue and black on Thursday morning.
Confirming the deal, Solskjaer said: “Yeah I believe so and I can confirm that.
“Alexis has had a good time over there, he’s a good player and we wish him all the best.”
Lingard senses rare opportunity
Lingard made it two goals in two games after notching against Leicester in the final game of the Premier League season.
Sensing a chance to impose himself on the Utd eleven throughout the remainder of the competition, Lingard said: “Of course, you take confidence from goals.
“I wanted to add goals this season and hopefully now I can carry on throughout the rest of this competition.”
On a tough season personally: “When you’re not in the right mental state football takes your mind away from everything. I love playing football and playing for Manchester United.”