(Reuters) – Manchester United can ease supporters’ doubts after a relatively quiet transfer window by producing the attractive football that has delighted them in the past, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
A pall of gloom hangs over Old Trafford with many fans disillusioned with United’s transfer business in the close season even though the club signed defenders Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and winger Daniel James.
However, United lost striker Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and midfielder Ander Herrera to Paris St Germain without recruiting replacements but Solskjaer said the club would only sign players if they improved the squad.
“There are always going to be fans out there wanting to sign players. The way we can clear doubts is by playing football, showing what the team want to be and the style of football we want to play,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at home to Chelsea.
“When our fans see that intention they have always been supporting the team. Within the team and the club we are feeling very confident and we don’t feel that negativity.
“There is money available when the right players are available. It’s not about a quick fix, it is about a longer re-build. It’s not time to change that attitude when you haven’t got the correct answers from the players you wanted.”
Lukaku, who did not take part in United’s pre-season matches due to injury, was sold to Inter for a reported fee of 80 million euros ($89.60 million) on deadline day and Solskjaer said the transfer was a win-win situation for all parties concerned. [nL8N254574]
“It was time for Lukaku to go. We got a good deal and he is happy so both parties ended that deal as it should be,” Solskjaer added.
“He was injured for a while in pre-season and he didn’t participate. I just hope that he gets a good start at Inter Milan.”
Solskjaer expects Alexis Sanchez to fill the void after Lukaku’s exit after a torrid season where the 30-year-old forward scored only two goals in all competitions.
However, the Chilean may not feature against Chelsea after returning late following his participation in Copa America which ended last month.
“Alexis has come in and trained well… he’s four or five weeks behind the boys and he has not played apart from the one behind closed doors here, I think he’ll see this as an opportunity to make his mark,” Solskjaer said.
Defenders Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are unavailable due to injuries, Solskjaer added, but Paul Pogba and new signing Maguire are fit to start.
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(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)