Shaw injury leaves United boss Solskjaer limited at left-back
Manchester United face issues at the back following the news Luke Shaw could be set for five weeks on the sidelines.
England international Shaw, who has had his injury problems since joining from Southampton in June 2014 for around £30million, was forced to hobble off the pitch in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace after tweaking his hamstring.
This is the third hamstring issue the 24-year-old has picked up among a catalogue of injuries during his five-year spell at the Theatre of Dreams and initial fears are he could be missing for the next five weeks.
United are still waiting for further tests to find out the extent of the problem but the prognosis at the weekend was the defender would be missing for the Premier League games against former club Southampton, Leicester City, West Ham and Arsenal.
Shaw will also miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, which will be announced on Thursday, for the crucial Euro 202 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo next month.
The defender’s absence will leave Solskjaer with limited options at the back, having already seen Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot head to the treatment table, and it means Ashley Young is likely to deputise at left-back.
Argentina international Marcos Rojo can also fill in, if required, but there are still reports claiming the 29-year-old will be heading for the exit door before the European transfer window closes on September 2.
On a positive note for the Red Devils, Solskjaer is more hopeful over Frenchman Anthony Martial’s thigh injury that he picked up towards the end of that defeat to the Eagles.
The Norwegian boss is hoping to have the 23-year-old back in training this week and available for Saturday’s trip to the Saints, who picked up a 2-0 win at Brighton last time out.
It was thought Martial’s recovery would have an influence on whether Alexis Sanchez would stay or leave before September 2 but Solskjaer insists this is not the case.
“Alexis is a quality player. We don’t have loads of options,” he said. “If there is an offer that’s good enough for the club and him maybe he will go, but if not then he’s still our player and he’s a quality player.”
Chile international Sanchez remains a loan target for Inter Milan, who signed Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku from United earlier in the window for a club-record 65million euros.
The issue over any deal at the moment appears to be a loan fee, while the debate also continues over a future fee for the Nerazzurri to purchase the forward permanently.