Solskjaer: The crowd loved Sancho!
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes summer recruit Jadon Sancho is ready to kick on following his performance in the Champions League victory over Villarreal earlier this week.
The Reds overcame the ‘Yellow Submarine’ for the first time in six attempts, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner, and Sancho played for the first 75 minutes.
Jadon has since been included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, although the Three Lions boss suggested his selection was "probably not" deserved if he was basing it on his "performances over the last few weeks."
The 21-year-old is yet to get off the mark for United following his move from Borussia Dortmund but Solskjaer was clearly encouraged by the Villarreal game and believes it’s only a matter of time before we begin to see the best from his no.25.
"Jadon was exceptional [against Villarreal], he was electric, the crowd loved him!" said Ole, in the second part of his pre-match press conference.
"I think he felt that connection with the crowd and that’s what we want from him. Direct, positive, he went past [Villarreal defender Juan] Foyth numerous times. Yeah, he’s not scored yet but I thought, on the night, I hope we see more of that," added the United boss.
Merely at the beginning of his United journey, Jadon seemed to be lifted by the response of the Old Trafford faithful in midweek, as he began to show signs of why the Reds were so determined to acquire him. Our no.25 constantly asked questions defensively of Foyth until he was replaced by Nemanja Matic for the final 15 minutes.
Another hot topic of conversation for Solskjaer in his press conference was Mason Greenwood's absence from England’s 23-man squad.
The Reds youngster has been in superb form so far this season and on the day he turned 20, Ole stressed the need for a balance to be struck to ensure Greenwood remains at the peak of his powers for both club and country.
"Gareth [Southgate] has had a frank conversation with Mason and his family, and they know the situation," said the United boss.
"They know Mason is really keen on playing for England and Gareth has an understanding above all that the boy is still only 20."
"He’s not a teenager anymore, he is going to be a top player both for England and Man Utd, so he has to be managed the right way.
"For us it gives us a chance to work on his fitness but to also give him a bit of a rest. He has been playing very well, in many games at a high intensity. He's maturing all the time, getting better all the time. But it’s a time for him to recuperate and get him ready for the rest of October and for the rest of the season."