The forward has endured a tricky 2020/21 campaign, notching just one goal in his 18 Premier League outings and subsequently slipping down the pecking order.
The January transfer window has barely slammed shut and already we’re being treated to thousands of column inches worth of speculation surrounding Manchester United’s potential summer business.
In truth it’s easy to see why there’s such a clamour for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to add some stellar names to the Red Devils roster – drawing with Sam Allardyce’s West Brom will do that.
Defensive additions are the hot topic of conversation, with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire’s partnership not progressing as many had hoped.
However, with the club’s pursuit of David Alaba, Sergio Ramos, Pau Torres and Franco Baresi on the backburner, rubber stamping a deal which secures the future of one of their brightest stars is as close to quality business as they can get right now.
United have confirmed that Mason Greenwood has penned a new four-year contract which will see him remain at Old Trafford until 2025.
The forward has endured a tricky 2020/21 campaign, notching just one goal in his 18 Premier League outings and subsequently slipping down the pecking order.
Greenwood has undoubtedly been a victim of his own success, with expectations heightened following his unbelievable form after Project Restart last season as his goals helped secure the return of Champions League football to United.
Such was the movement and the intelligence shown by Greenwood at the back end of last season, it’s easy to forget that he’s still just 19 years of age, and dips in form and confidence are to be expected from someone whose career is still in its infancy.
While he may not be the fixture in the team that he was six or seven months ago, Solskjaer clearly recognises the need to show faith in the young forward – though you would expect that from a former striker himself – and despite Greenwood’s barren spell, the 19-year-old has still clocked up 12 starts in the league this season.
The United boss knows better than anyone the need to persist and keep plugging away as a forward, and the club’s decision to secure Greenwood’s future at the club may just be the confidence boost the youngster needs to help him rediscover his form of last season.
Say what you want of United’s transfer business over the past couple of years, but their decision to offer Greenwood a new deal not only makes perfect business sense given his undoubted talent, the timing of the move is very savvy.
He’s working hard on a couple of aspects of his game we’ve spoken about with him, and I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that backup goalkeeper Dean Henderson is desperate to replace David de Gea in the starting lineup.
De Gea’s status as United’s first-choice goalkeeper has come into question in recent days following a poor performance in the 3-3 draw with Everton, in which most felt he could have done better for two of the Toffees’ goals.
In Henderson, they have arguably the best backup goalkeeper in the Premier League. He has been earmarked as a future number one at Old Trafford after starring on loan with Sheffield United last season, but has been restricted to just ten appearances in all competitions this year.
“Dean has played well whenever he’s got the chance. He’s matured and for me he’s developed his game,” Solskjaer said when asked how long Henderson would have to wait for another chance.
“I know he’s not played as many games as he would have last season, but you see every game when he plays and in training his improvement.
“He’s working hard on a couple of aspects of his game we’ve spoken about with him, and I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.
“Of course, he’s not the most patient guy. He wants to play every game because he knows he’ll perform well, so long may it continue because he’s improved since he came [back] here.”
It’s a tricky situation for Solskjaer to handle. On one hand, you’ve got a 30-year-old loyal servant to the club who can be one of the world’s best goalkeepers on his day, but on the other, you’ve got a 23-year-old who needs to play if he is to become the future star he has been touted as.
It brings back memories of Petr Cech vs Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. When the latter returned from his loan with Atletico Madrid in 2014, he made it clear he was ready to be a first-choice goalkeeper, and the Blues were left with no choice but to demote club-legend Cech to the bench so as to ensure the youngster didn’t leave and excel elsewhere.
Henderson is expected to return to the starting lineup for Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth round clash with West Ham, but by the sounds of it, he’ll need a lot more minutes if he’s to stay at United this summer.
Solskjaer has been under pressure at times, but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has publicly supported the 47-year-old on a number of occasions.
Manchester United are not expected to open contract talks with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until the end of the season, at which stage the Norwegian will have one more year left on his current deal.
Solskjaer signed a three-year contract when he was appointed on a permanent basis in 2019, with those original terms still in place and set to expire in the summer of 2022.
During his time in charge, the United legend has experienced major ups and downs at both extremes.
But the club is generally in a far better place now than when he first took over from Jose Mourinho as an interim in 2018 and returned to the top of the Premier League table earlier this season.
Even now, United are still second in the standings and are on course to qualify for the Champions League, while the FA Cup and Europa League each offers good potential to win a trophy.
According to NoRM‘s known Media, United could offer Solskjaer a new two-year deal and are prepared to include a pay rise, as well as bonuses.
But senior officials at Old Trafford would rather wait until the distractions of the season are out of the way before kicking off the talks.
What has Ed Woodward said about Solskjaer’s future? Solskjaer has been under pressure at times, but executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has publicly supported the 47-year-old on a number of occasions.
“On the pitch, while there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop,” Woodward said of the situation in November.
The United chief reiterated that stance at a fans forum event the same month, explaining, “Of course, we recognise there’s more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies. But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players.”
Solskjaer and the United squad were then able to go in and carry on their preparations for the crucial game without any further problems or setbacks.
Manchester United endured brief disruption to their preparations for Saturday night’s Premier League clash with Everton and Old Trafford when fire engines were called to the team’s hotel in Salford seven hours before kick-off.
United typically use the luxury hotel, located just across the River Irwell from Manchester city centre and a short drive to Old Trafford, as a base before home matches.
But when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad arrived on the team coach on Saturday lunchtime, fire engines were already on their way to the hotel.
NoRM‘s known Media writes that the United party pulled up shortly after 1pm, only for two fire engines to also arrive almost immediately afterwards.
Crews of firefighters are said to have jumped from the vehicles and rushed inside, only for it be end up as a false alarm.
The firefighters are reported to have then left with everything appearing to be fine and the Mirror suggests the problem may have been caused by a fire alarm being set off in the hotel’s kitchens.
Whatever the issue, Solskjaer and the United squad were then able to go in and carry on their preparations for the crucial game without any further problems or setbacks.
After back-to-back games without victory, United returned to winning ways last time out when they thrashed Southampton 9-0 at Old Trafford to equal their own Premier League record from 1995.
The result almost doubled their goal difference, completely reversing the damage inflicted by the 6-1 defeat against Tottenham earlier in the season, and kept United in second place in the table.
A win against Everton would see United go level on points with leaders Manchester City and put the pressure on their rivals, who are in action away at Liverpool just under 24 hours later.
The Norwegian was then asked whether or not his players had been able to swiftly re-focus after drubbing Southampton in the week.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faced the media ahead of the upcoming fixture with Everton at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils go into the game off the back of an enthralling record-equalling 9-0 win over Southampton at Old Trafford, bringing back memories of 1995 when an Andy Cole inspired United took Ipswich apart.
Opponents Everton picked up a valuable three points of their own, albeit in less spectacular fashion, as they overcame Leeds at Elland Road thanks to goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and fantasy football favourite Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Ahead of the game, United boss Solskjaer updated the media on the fitness of Edinson Cavani, who was substituted at half-time against Southampton, and Eric Bailly, before talking about the importance of improving the club’s form at home.
“Edinson should be available, yeah, definitely,” Solskjaer said (quoted by Sky Sports). “He got a bad ankle knock there. Eric is a doubt and apart from that everyone’s raring to go.
“Consistency is of course vital, we have done really well away from home. We bounced back from the Sheffield United defeat now and we feel that we are ready to kick on again and move on and get some momentum.
“We know it is not going to be easy, we play every three or four days. If we can get the consistency, morale and confidence up, who knows?”
The Norwegian was then asked whether or not his players had been able to swiftly re-focus after drubbing Southampton in the week. Inevitably, Solskjaer was confident that facing Everton was already at the forefront of everybody’s minds.
“I don’t think anyone will get carried away with the scoreline because we know we played against 10 men for the full game and of course that’s demoralising when they lose players like they did,” he added.
“When we got the 2-0, the game was more or less over so it was just about doing the right things. We’ve not mentioned the game at all, really. Now all the focus has been on Everton.”
Solskjaer also confirmed that Amad Diallo, who starred for the club’s Under-23s in their romping win over Liverpool last weekend, would again be action at that level, meaning his appearance at Blackburn will likely delay his Premier League debut.
United have worked tirelessly to convince him that there is a place for him at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have fought off competition from some of Europe’s biggest sides to agree a professional contract with 17-year-old academy starlet Shola Shoretire.
Shoretire, who held the record for being the youngest player in UEFA Youth League history until it was broken by Dortmund sensation Youssoufa Moukoko in 2019, has enjoyed a hugely impressive season with United, stepping up to the Under-23 side despite his young age.
The teenager’s rise to prominence has been tracked by the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, but according to the Daily Mail, Shoretire sees his long-term future at Old Trafford.
He is expected to sign his new contract with United in the coming days, and while there’s no mention of the terms on offer, the deal is expected to ‘underline just how much he is valued’ by the club.
Shoretire has regularly been training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team this season and has regularly been tipped to make his senior debut either this season or next, and United have worked tirelessly to convince him that there is a place for him at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and former United man Michael Owen are all believed to have spoken to Shoretire about his contract situation to help persuade the teenager to put pen to paper, and it seems as though they have done exactly that.
There were fears that the level of competition for places in Shoretire’s position could convince him to leave.
When it comes to wingers, United already have Rashford, Greenwood and Daniel James, while they committed to spending close to £50m to sign young duo Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri in the summer.
However, despite those lucrative arrivals, United remain committed to Shoretire and have promised him a fair shot to prove himself in Solskjaer’s senior side.
Shoretire isn’t the only academy gem making waves at United. He played in the recent 6-3 win over Liverpool’s Under-23’s, but it was Diallo and new signing Joe Hugill who stole the headlines by combining for all six goals.
United’s front four, which also featured £10m man Hannibal Mejbri, have all been tipped to make a real splash at Old Trafford in the coming years, with Solskjaer keen to keep injecting his side with home-grown talents.
The teenager even added fuel to the clamour for a first-team debut when he made his bow for the Under-23 side over the weekend against Liverpool and scored twice.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken to the media ahead of this week’s Premier League clash with Southampton at Old Trafford, discussing among other things how the club was cost the recent game against Sheffield United by mistakes the referee has owned up to, changes to the Premier League squad and the latest on teenage starlet Amad Diallo.
Solskjaer has revealed the club has had word that the referee from last week’s shock home defeat to Sheffield United admitted making two incorrect decisions that helped cost his team the game.
The Blades’ opening goal from Kean Bryan was allowed to stand even though Billy Sharp appeared to push United goalkeeper David de Gea as the ball came over.
To rub salt into that wound a few minutes later, a would be Anthony Martial equaliser was harshly ruled out after Harry Maguire was unfairly adjudged to have fouled visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in what seems like a fair challenge.
VAR didn’t intervene at the time, but referee Peter Bankes has concluded in hindsight that both calls were incorrect and should have been reversed.
“I’ve got the delegates’ report from the ref and the two decisions were wrong. They’ve admitted their goal should have been disallowed and our goal should have stood,” Solskjaer said.
A victory in that game would have put United two points clear at the top as things currently stand, assuming the 0-0 with Arsenal would still have followed the same.
But it is too convenient an excuse to solely lean on. United may have initially been on the back foot because of bad officiating, yet they did get back on level terms, couldn’t find a breakthrough to go ahead and still proceeded to concede again courtesy of some utterly atrocious defending.
Phil Jones added to Premier League squad United are sending home-grown Teden Mengi on loan to Wayne Rooney’s Derby County for the rest of the season and will draft Phil Jones back into the Premier League squad for extra cover.
Mengi didn’t have to be named in the squad list because of his age so it isn’t a like for like swap in that sense, but the teenager was training with the first-team and so will be a body lost all the same.
Jones was left out of the 25-man selection at the start of the season and so obviously hasn’t played. In the meantime, the 28-year-old has been recovering from another injury.
“Phil has been recovering from an injury, a knee operation he had, and he’s working hard to be available again. So, he will be included on the [Premier League] list. Hopefully he’ll get his fitness back sooner, rather than later, and be able to play,” Solskjaer explained.
There has been plenty of talk about new signing Amad Diallo following his high profile transfer from Atalanta. The teenager even added fuel to the clamour for a first-team debut when he made his bow for the Under-23 side over the weekend against Liverpool and scored twice.
The second of those goals was even an ice cold Panenka penalty.
Solskjaer had said more than once before that game that Diallo isn’t far away from featuring with the first-team but will still be given some time first. That stance hasn’t changed.
“We’re going to give him the time to settle in, show his skills and adapt. “He can open up defences, and I don’t think it will be too long until he’s involved in a matchday squad,” Solskjaer said.
The Norwegian also reminded that Joe Hugill actually made more of an impact in the game, scoring four goals of his own in the 6-3 victory: “If we go from that game, I’d pick Joe Hugill: scored four goals, should have taken the penalty and got five instead of giving it to Amad!”
These hateful words have no place anywhere in our society whether online or otherwise.
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed they have launched an investigation after several Manchester United players were targeted by racist abuse on social media in recent days.
Defender Axel Tuanzebe and striker Anthony Martial both found themselves facing a flurry of horrific abuse in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United, and Marcus Rashford became the latest to be targeted after the 0-0 draw with Arsenal.
“We are aware of a number of Manchester United football players suffering abuse on social media accounts between Wednesday 27 January and Saturday 30 January 2021,” a statement from GMP read on Twitter.
“Nobody should be subject to such abuse and it is deeply upsetting not only to those who suffer it, but to all those who come across this awful language too.
“A number of these comments have been reported to us and we are liaising with those involved to procide support and we will be investigating these crimes thoroughly.”
Rashford described the abuse directed towards him as ‘humanity and social media at its worst’, warning those responsible that his pride towards the colour of his skin would never be broken by some so-called fans online.
On the abuse directed towards Rashford, a spokesperson for Facebook told the BBC: “There is no place for racism on Instagram and we are committed to removing it when we find it.
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has become the latest high-profile footballer to be subjected to racist abuse on social media.
It comes after United condemned similar abuse directed towards Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe, while Rashford’s England teammate Reece James was sent vile racist messages on Instagram – all of which came over the course of the past week.
Rashford wrote on Twitter:
“Humanity and social media at its worst. Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am.
“No-one, or no one comment, is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.
“I’m not sharing screenshots. It would be irresponsible to do so and as you can imagine there’s nothing original in them.
“I have beautiful children of all colours following me and they don’t need to read it. Beautiful colours that should only be celebrated.”
Rashford’s story strengthens calls for tighter moderation on social media platforms in order to prevent the sort of anonymity that enables individuals to freely spout hatred without fear of consequence beyond a suspension or ban.
The Premier League continues to stand against racism, with clubs taking a knee ahead of every match in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But more than six months since those shows of support began, we are still seeing players subjected to racist abuse on a far too regular basis.
James called for change after revealing the extent of the abuse he received, while Premier League chief Richard Masters has asked social media companies to take more responsibility for the hatred shared on their platforms.
He said: “We are in regular dialogue with social media companies, challenging them to do more against discriminatory abuse on their platforms. We want to see swifter removal of offensive messages and improved identification and banning of offenders.”
The defender gained some vital match fitness in that win, and he’ll be hoping to have proven his worth to Solskjaer’s first team in the process.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that defender Brandon Williams will not leave Manchester United on loan in the January transfer window, despite Newcastle United and Southampton previously expressing an interest in the 20-year-old.
The left-back looked set to leave Old Trafford this winter in order to gain some much-needed experience at the top level, and a deal was believed to be close with the Magpies.
But after Man Utd’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday, Solskjaer stated that Williams ‘will stay’ at the club, while announcing that no other players will be heading out of the exit door in the winter window.
“Brandon [Williams] will stay,” Solskjaer confirmed.
“He played Under-23s against Liverpool today, he needed match fitness. I don’t have any other players that we think will be going. It’s a relentless season and we go again on Tuesday.”
Williams was part of Man Utd’s crushing victory over Liverpool Under-23s on Saturday, when they romped to a 6-3 win, with new signing Amad Diallo scoring a brace – including a cheeky panenka penalty.
Williams fell out of the side towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign, and then dropped even further down the pecking order when Alex Telles joined in the summer from Porto.
Now behind both Telles and Luke Shaw in the race for the starting left-back spot, it appeared that a move to another Premier League club would be his only option to earn some regular playing time, but the Norwegian boss has closed the door on that possibility.
It appears he is wary of injuries leaving them short of quality alternatives across the pitch, so Williams must wait patiently for his chance to arrive, and grab it with both hands if it does.
Those misses proved costly, as Man Utd failed to find the net at the Emirates Stadium, dropping two more points in the Premier League title race
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Edinson Cavani to ‘score a few soon’, after the Uruguayan’s poor finishing cost Manchester United a potential two extra points in a goalless draw against Arsenal.
The Red Devils were not at their best on Saturday, but they did carve out two gilt-edged opportunities for the 33-year-old, but the usually reliable striker first somehow hit Bernd Leno with his close-range effort, and then acrobatically fired wide late on.
..But coach Solskjaer was upbeat after the match, and he backed Cavani to hit a rich vein of form following his poor display against the Gunners.
“He’s there, I was a striker myself, I had periods when I don’t score, the gaffer [Sir Alex Ferguson] and everyone around me would say ‘you were there to miss the chances’,” Solskjaer said.
“To score you have to miss a few and he’ll definitely score a few soon.”
Speaking about the game as a whole, Solskjaer maintained that Man Utd created enough chances to beat Arsenal, and claimed that they ‘controlled the game’ despite the Gunners arguably coming closest, when Alexandre Lacazette’s free-kick rattled the crossbar.
“We created enough chances to score, we’ll work on that and get them going again. We look at it as one step forward after Wednesday night,” he said.
“I felt that we controlled the game, the free-kick that hits the bar can always go in, but they didn’t bother us too much. We were a little bit passive outside the box, they had a few too many shots, but David wouldn’t be bothered by too many of them.”
The draw leaves Man Utd trailing Manchester City by three points in the Premier League table, while the Citizens still hold a game in hand over their fierce rivals.
Pogba recently insisted that he will continue to be happy at Old Trafford as long as his side keep on winning, admitting that he struggles to cope when United come out on the losing side – just as they did on Wednesday.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed that he will sit down with the club at the end of the season to discuss his contract situation.
The Frenchman has entered the final 18 months of his current deal and was widely expected to be sold in the coming summer after agent Mino Raiola publicly claimed Pogba wanted to leave Old Trafford because he was ‘unhappy’.
However, those comments came before Pogba rediscovered his best form and led United towards the top of the Premier League table. All of a sudden, an exit no longer seems as certain as it was just one month ago, and Pogba confessed that he is ready to talk to the club about his future.
“I am on contract, I am here, I am enjoying myself,” Pogba told BT Sport in the build-up to United’s 2-1 loss to Sheffield United. “Everybody knows that I have one year left, I’m going to speak with the club and see what’s going on.
“For now, my objective, my goal is to win something. That’s all I’m thinking about is to win.”
His future is a tricky one to get your head around. In terms of potential landing spots, it’s Real Madrid and Juventus who are usually named a suitors, although neither side has anywhere close to the money needed to land the midfielder.
Should United sell in the summer, they know they would likely make a loss on the £89m they spent to bring him back to Old Trafford in 2016, but he’d still be one of the most expensive transfers of the summer.
However, whether United actually want to sell is a different matter. Now that he has shaken off the injuries which have plagued him for the last year, Pogba looks like the game-changing midfielder he was supposed to be, and it’s no coincidence that United’s upturn his form has come at the same time as Pogba’s resurgence.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of his desire to keep Pogba around, but he may have to keep his side in a title battle if he is to convince the World Cup winner to stay.
The Red Devils have made a habit of coming back to take all three points from losing positions this term – but instead it was the visitors who found a second wind.
Sheffield United produced one of the shocks of the season as the Premier League’s bottom side recorded a 2-1 win over title chasing Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
It was an energetic, tireless, cohesive performance from the Blades, reminiscent of the displays that they had turned in on a weekly basis last season.
Chris Wilder’s side took the lead after 23 minutes, former Manchester City academy product Kean Bryan rising highest to head home from a corner.
However, the goal was not without controversy, with Billy Sharp not penalised for a nudge on David de Gea in the buildup. Minutes later at the other end, a foul was awarded against Harry Maguire following a similar incident.
It was the only complaint United could muster after a flat first half performance.
But the Red Devils fought back and found an equaliser in the 64th minute, former Sheffield United academy product Maguire escaping the attentions of the excellent Phil Jagielka and powering home a header.
United twice failed to clear their lines and Oliver Burke was presented with all the time and space in the world inside the box to fire towards goal, and his effort deflected in off Axel Tuanzebe.
It was a glorious piece of completely calamitous defending from the Red Devils.
It was calamitous defending against a side with just one Premier League win and ten Premier League goals to their name prior to Wednesday evening.
It was ultimately a poor performance from Manchester United, who missed the opportunity to return to the Premier League summit and brought an end to their unbeaten top flight run.
The result and manner of the defeat also led to fans questioning their title credentials.
But take nothing away from Sheffield United, who produced a stunning performance from front to back. The midfield three of John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood and John Fleck were absolutely everywhere, while their three centre halves were absolutely imperious.
Both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could easily have scored, had it not been for some impressive goalkeeping from Alisson.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confessed he was disappointed to see his side fail to ask more questions of a makeshift Liverpool defence in Sunday’s 0-0 draw.
His team sat back and gifted Liverpool the vast majority of both the possession and the shots, although it was United who had the far better chances.
Alisson was the only regular at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, with midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson deployed as centre-backs because of the team’s ongoing injury struggles, and Solskjaer felt as though his side should have done more to take advantage of that.
“I know we can play better, but we’re still coming away from here with a point which shows how far we’ve come in a year or even six months,” he said (via the club’s official website). “We didn’t impose ourselves on the game, especially in the first half.
“I think we grew into the game and towards the end you felt ‘yeah, it’s here for us to win’ and we created two massive chances and they were two brilliant saves by the keeper.
“I’ve got to be honest to say I’m a bit disappointed at the moment, but still you know you’re playing against a fantastic team and they had more of the possession. But still you want to go here and you know the injuries they’ve had lately, you think you go here and get a result. We didn’t, but a point might be okay if we win the next one.”
United struggled to keep hold of their possession and were wasteful with the ball, often mistiming passes to Marcus Rashford, whose total of five offside calls was the most of any player this season and the most of a United player since Robin van Persie’s six in January 2013.
“We can be more composed, we can have the ball more, we had to defend really often and I thought we gave the ball away too often,” Solskjaer continued.
“Maybe some moments we missed, when Marcus [Rashford] makes his runs in behind – maybe sometimes we don’t pass it every time he runs and sometimes we missed it when he should have had it. So a couple of things that we need to improve on.
“I wanted Marcus up top. Because of his pace. We just missed a few moments in both the first half and the second half to play that ball a little bit quicker or with a bit more quality. It was there that we could hurt them a bit because we knew about their problems at centre-back.”
But Rashford is also adamant that United do not go out looking for penalties or are awarded more than they deserve.
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has revealed that former manager Jose Mourinho taught him to be ‘more savvy’ in the penalty area so that he is more likely to win a penalty if he is fouled by giving the referee no doubt
A player who tries to stay on their feet when fouled in the box can end up disadvantaged and not getting the decision because a foul is not always as clear.
“When you are making runs in behind or dribbling with the ball and if you see a challenge coming, you don’t want to get tackled because you are looking at an opportunity to score a goal,” he said on Thursday night as he accepted the Football Writers’ Association 2021 Tribute Award.
“There is no way you are going to let somebody take the ball off you, so for me it is a case of us wanting to score goals and the teams wanting to defend goals and penalties can happen. There have been times when we have probably not got penalties.
“When Jose [Mourinho] was manager, there were five or six times where I should have had a penalty and Jose ended up saying to me, ‘If you are not savvy about the way you do it, then you are not going to [get] it.’ After that, we started to get a few penalties.
“It was something, in terms of development, you have to learn and understand.”
Jurgen Klopp recently made a pointed jibe that United have had more penalties since 2018 than Liverpool have had in his entire time at the club.
That is true, but this season alone United have had only one more in the Premier League and both have scored five.
It is actually Leicester that have been awarded far more than anyone else – 10 so far, scoring eight.
Liverpool have also benefitted more from penalties, taken seven additional points as a direct result of scoring from the spot. United over the same period have taken six additional points.
United have also completed a clean sweep of player and manager of the month awards in the WSL, with Leah Galton and Casey Stoney respectively recognised.
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been named Premier League Player of the Month for December for his performances that helped fire his team up the table.
It is the second month in a row in which Fernandes has scooped the individual prize, while he has also made history as the first player ever to win four times in a single calendar year following previous wins for February and June, as well as obviously November.
“Three goals and four assists was a complete month. Scoring and assisting your team-mates is perfect. I want to achieve other trophies and awards but I’m really happy to make history,” the Portugal international told the Premier League’s official website.
Initially rested, Fernandes was brought on at half-time in United’s opening game in December and helped the team pull off a 3-1 comeback win after trailing.
He later got two goals and an assist in a 6-2 thrashing of Leeds in the club’s final game before Christmas, a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Leicester on Boxing Day, plus another assist in a 1-0 win over Wolves to end the month and the calendar year.
As a team, United rose from seventh at the end of November to second by the end of December. Now, that momentum has continued into January and they are top of the table.
This weekend, Fernandes and United face second place Liverpool at Anfield in what will now be the biggest game of the 2020/21 season so far.
“It’s a long way before we can start talking about being champions. We have to keep working. We play against one of the best teams in England and we know what it means to the fans. But the main point is the same: three points,” Fernandes explained.
It is the second month in a row the league leaders have received both awards, with Tobin Heath previously winning for November.
Therefore, it seemed likely that the 28-year-old would be allowed to walk away from Old Trafford this month.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will block a January exit for midfielder Jesse Lingard as he believes the Englishman can still play a role at the club this season.
Lingard is yet to play a single minute in either the Premier League or Champions League this year and instead has been forced to settle for just three appearances across the domestic cups.
There has been plenty of interest in Lingard’s services. The likes of Sheffield United, Newcastle and Real Sociedad have all been linked, and Sky Sports News have thrown Ligue 1’s Nice into the mix as well.
However, The Telegraph specifically reject the idea of contact with Nice and instead insist that Solskjaer is not keen on pushing Lingard out the exit door this month.
It’s said that Solskjaer still sees value in Lingard as a squad player – someone to plug the holes when the first-team players need a rest or are unavailable – so he does not want to let the midfielder leave the club just yet.
Once this season comes to a close, Lingard will be encouraged to explore other options. He will enter the final year of his contract and United have already used their extension clause to stop him walking away for free this summer.
Instead of offloading Lingard, United will put their focus in clearing out other unwanted players. Timothy Fosu-Mensah has already sealed a permanent move to Bayer Leverkusen, and there are a number of fringe players who could follow suit.
United hope to sell defender Marcos Rojo and goalkeeper Sergio Romero, with the desire to sell Rojo particularly strong as his contract expires at the end of the season. Romero’s is also scheduled to expire this summer, but United have a one-year extension clause to trigger if they want.
Centre-back Phil Jones is also on the market, although United are aware that his £100,000-a-week wages may make a January move impossible and will even harm his hopes of leaving next summer.
The Red Devils may also be waiting until the summer to find permanent buyers for Diogo Dalot and Andreas Pereira, who are currently on loan with AC Milan and Lazio respectively.
Neither are expected to return to Old Trafford, and the hope is that the pair can entice some offers over the next six months.
There’s a lot of uncertainty concerning outgoings at United, but one thing which is certain is that striker Odion Ighalo, who has just nine Premier League minutes to his name this year, will leave the club once his loan expires on January 31.
United have not beaten Wolves in four attempts since Nuno Espirito Santo’s men returned to the Premier League two and a half years ago.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Edinson Cavani still has years left as a top striker and is keen to extend the Uruguayan’s contract at Old Trafford.
The 33-year-old Uruguayan signed a one-year deal in September after months without a club since leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
United have the option to extend Cavani’s contract for another season and Solskjaer suggested he expects the club to do so.
“At the moment he looks like he has a few years left in him so I wouldn’t say anything else,” said Solskjaer when asked if Cavani will remain for another season.
“He’s been a great influence and has made a great impact since he’s come here.”
Cavani has scored four goals in 13 appearances for United and came off the bench to set up Bruno Fernandes’s goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leicester.
However, Solskjaer dismissed suggestions Cavani’s role will be that of an impact substitute.
“He’s definitely a starter. You don’t classify a player of that quality as anything else,” added Solskjaer. “He’ll probably start more games that he will not start.
“He’s so meticulous and professional with his habits, everything about him shows why he’s had the career he’s had and, at the age he’s now, he’s still one of the fittest players we’ve got.”
Cavani will be available for the visit of Wolves to Old Trafford on Tuesday, but could soon be back on the sidelines after being charged by the Football Association with misconduct for a social media post.
After scoring twice as United came from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 last month, Cavani thanked a friend on Instagram using the Spanish word “negrito” (small black person).
Both United and the player said at the time that the word was clearly used in an affectionate manner and has different connotations in South America.
But Solskjaer is hoping his side’s struggles at home early in the season have been blown away by a 6-2 thrashing of Leeds in their last outing at Old Trafford.
“We are improving definitely, we’re getting better and better at finding different solutions in different games,” said the Norwegian.
“But we know that Wolverhampton have got quality as well and they will give us problems if we’re too open.”
Victory could take United up to second in the Premier League table should other results go their way on Monday.
United survived spells of pressure from Everton in the second half, the hosts seeing plenty of the ball in the Red Devils half without really creating anything clear cut.
Manchester United eased the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 3-1 win over Everton at Goodinson Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Devils had trailed inside 20 minutes but produced a Bruno Fernandes-inspired comeback as the midfielder scored two and set up another to secure a vital three points.
Everton raced into an early lead when Bernard latched onto Victor Lindelof’s flick and fired low past David de Gea.
But United’s response was instant, Bruno Fernandes powering Luke Shaw’s cross home to level the scores, before the Portuguese midfielder added a second as his arcing cross bent straight in despite Marcus Rashford’s attempts to glance the ball goalward.
Solskjaer’s side wrapped up the three points at the death, Fernandes sliding in Edinson Cavani on the counter attack for the Uruguayan to net his first United goal.
Let’s get into some player ratings.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Jordan Pickford (GK) – 5/10 – Fumbled a United free kick and was fortunate to not concede a penalty after appearing to clean out Maguire. Good distribution, mind.
Seamus Coleman (RB) – 6/10 – Embarked on one particularly excellent marauding run in the second half and produced an intelligent turn and pick out to find Doucoure in the dying stages.
Mason Holgate (CB) – 5/10 – Question marks over both of Everton’s centre halves for United’s two goals, with both Fernandes and Rashford afforded acres of space in the Toffees area.
Michael Keane (CB) – 6/10 – Left a chasmic gap between himself and Holgate for both of Fernandes’ goals. Good on the ball as Everton built from the back time after time.
Lucas Digne (LB) – 7/10 – Combined well with Bernard in the first half, with Everton looking most dangerous when the pair linked up down the left flank. Clattered the outside of the post during one foray forward.
Allan (CM) – 8/10 – Allowed Rashford to run off him in the buildup to United’s second. Heavily involved, adding a real bite and steeliness to the Everton midfield. Flew into tackles, harried the United midfield, but was also hugely efficient while in possession.
Abdoulaye Doucoure (CM) – 6/10 – Involved more defensively than going forward, winning tackle after tackle and hardly giving the United midfield a moment of peace.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (CM) – 4/10 – A relatively quiet afternoon for the Everton midfielder, struggled to get involved and saw much less of the ball than his two midfield partners. Was replaced after an hour.
Bernard (LW) – 7/10 – Marked his first start of the season with a goal, moving the ball onto his right foot and firing low past De Gea at the near post. Combined well with Digne in the first half, but switched to the right flank in the second and was considerably quieter.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ST) – 6/10 – Cut an isolated figure at times and hardly got a sniff of goal – a header in the opening exchanges the only real opportunity he had. Despite not finding the net, his link up play was effective and he hardly gave the United backline a moment’s respite.
James Rodriguez (RW) – 5/10 – One of his quietest performances in a blue shirt, and Everton were all the poorer for it. Moved into the midfield three after an hour.
Alex Iwobi – 6/10
Cenk Tosun – 5/10
Goalkeeper & Defenders David de Gea (GK) – 6/10 – Had very little to do all afternoon bar picking out Bernard’s strike after 19 minutes.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 6/10 – Struggled to contend with the combination of Digne and Bernard in the first half, but produced a more assured display in the second as United were forced to defend for large periods.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 7/10 – Mistimed a header to flick the ball onto Bernard in the buildup to Everton’s opener but was otherwise very solid as United kept the Toffees at bay in the second half.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 8/10 – Put in a terrific defensive shift, getting his head on absolutely everything. Produced a couple of particularly impressive searching long passes in the second half, and just got a touch on the ball before clearing out Lucas Digne in his own box.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 7/10 – Grabbed his second assist in two games as his floated cross was headed home by Fernandes and put in an energetic, dogged performance.
Midfielders Scott McTominay (CDM) – 8/10 – Solid and robust defensively and tidy in possession offensively. Shielded the United backline expertly – exactly what they were missing on Wednesday evening.
Fred (CDM) – 7/10 – Played slightly further forward than McTominay and was full of energy, demonstrating a cracking turn of pace on a couple of occasions to surge forward. Robust defensively.
Bruno Fernandes (CAM) – 8/10 – Levelled the scores with a header, perfectly timing his arrival into the box and sending Shaw’s delivery into the top corner. His arced cross then went straight in to give United the lead.
Forwards Juan Mata (RW) – 6/10 – Influential in United’s equaliser, shifting the ball around quickly and drifting in between the Everton midfield and defence before setting Shaw away.
Anthony Martial (ST) – 6/10 – Provided a great piece of control to put himself through in the first half, but he fired just wide. Replaced with 10 minutes remaining.
Marcus Rashford (LW) – 6/10 – Combined well with Fernandes for United’s second and sent a good opportunity straight at Pickford in the second half. Not quite at his sharp, lively best.
Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Edinson Cavani, Uruguay striker, on a free transfer on deadline day.
The former Napoli striker had been without a club since the expiration of his contract at Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in June.
The Uruguay international has signed a one-year deal at Old Trafford and United have the option to extend his stay for a further season.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce the signing of striker Edinson Cavani. The Uruguay international joins on a one-year contract with the option to extend for a further year,” the club said in a statement on Monday night.
Cavani has won six Ligue 1 titles with PSG and lifted the Copa America with his country back in 2011.
“Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here. I’ve worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club,” he said.
“I have played in front of some of the most passionate supporters in football during my career and I know that it will be the same in Manchester. I cannot wait to experience the Old Trafford atmosphere, when it is safe for the fans to return.
“I look forward to continuing to write my little story inside the book of football and I know that’s why my focus has to remain the same as always – work, work, work. I have had a conversation with the manager and this has increased my desire to wear this beautiful shirt.”
Cavani is Manchester United’s third signing on transfer deadline day following the capture of Alex Telles, a left-back from FC Porto for £15 million, and 18-year-old Amad Traore for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old Brazilian left back has signed a contract until June 2024, with the option of a further year.
“To join a club with the prestige of Manchester United is a huge honour,” said Telles.
“You have to work hard to get to this moment in your career and now I am coming to this club, I can promise that I will give everything in my heart to be a success here.
“I won many trophies at FC Porto and I want to continue that at United. The manager has a clear plan and direction for this team and I can’t wait to pull on the famous shirt.”
Traore, one of the most promising young attackers in world football, is expected to link up with his new club in January.
Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Donny Van De Beek with the Dutchman set to wear number 34 as a tribute to his former teammate in Ajax Abdelhak Nouri.
New Manchester United player Donny van de Beek has decided to wear the number 34 with his new team. The reason for this is because it used to be the number adorning the shirt of his former teammate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed during a preseason game with Ajax back in 2017.
Nouri number inspires United’s Van De Beek Nouri dropped to the ground during a game against Werder Bremen due to a cardiac arrhythmia attack, that left him with major brain damage and kept him in a coma for almost three years.
Prior to the incident, Nouri, who came through the Ajax academy, made his debut for the first team and played nine games.
Paying tribute to their teammate, several ex-Ajax players requested wearing his number when they joined other clubs, including Van De Beek more recently and Man City defender Philippe Sandler who joined the Citizens in 2018.
Manchester United completed the 40-million-pound signing of Van De Beek on Wednesday on a five-year deal with an optional extension for a further year.
Van De Beek delivered impressive performances with Ajax and has become one of the pillars of the very talented Dutch national team. He played a significant role in Ajax’s outstanding Champions League campaign for the 2018-19 season where the team managed to reach the semi-finals of the competition, and were a whisker away from the final.
Commenting on his move, Van De Beek said: “I cannot begin to explain how incredible an opportunity it is to join a club with such an amazing history”.
“I would like to thank everyone at Ajax, I grew up there and I will always have a special bond with the club. I am now ready to take the next step in my career and perform at the highest level and there is no higher standard than Manchester United,” he added.