Solskjaer sends different messages to Sanchez and Fred
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects "quality" Alexis Sanchez to come good at Manchester United and the Red Devils manager has reiterated his faith in Fred too.
Rumours that Sanchez could be gone by the start of September when the European transfer window closes continue to dominate the headlines, but Solskjaer has rubbished reports the Chilean has been forced to train with the development squad.
Speaking at his latest media conference, the Norwegian admitted Sanchez remained part of his plans, although he attributed that mostly to the fact that United don’t have a wealth of forward options following the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Solskjaer played a straight bat to questions about the ex-Arsenal striker, who has flopped massively since moving to Old Trafford midway through the season before last.
He praised the professionalism of the 30-year-old, noting that Sanchez “comes in working every single day, really hard,” for his reported £300,000-a-week wage.
Solskjaer handed the struggling star four of his nine Premier League starts last season and received no notable performances from the player.
His words are designed to offer encouragement, but mostly will be seen as a device to diffuse the negative talk surrounding Sanchez.
Like his great mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, Solskjaer has a ruthless streak – which was partly shown in the way Lukaku was ignored throughout pre-season – and you can’t escape the feeling that Sanchez is being given a warning that he needs to up his game or rot on the sidelines.
Fred is a slightly different case, although he didn’t exactly help his own cause when he scheduled his wedding during the club’s early pre-season training block.
Unlike Sanchez, the Brazilian has the twin excuses of settling into a different country and culture and adapting to a new style of football for his lack of impact last term.
Solskjær: "We believe Fred is going to have a big season as well." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) August 16, 2019
Solskjaer gave him a few chances in the second half of the campaign and saw glimmers of form but Fred’s absence from the pre-season games has seen him fall down the pecking order behind Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira.
The manager’s belief in Fred may yet prove to be misplaced but his comments here are designed to instil some confidence in a player who United paid £52million for when they signed him from Shakhtar Donetsk