Solskjaer said his Manchester United squad is looking “in better shape” than this time 12 months ago – but is hopeful more new signings will follow Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “hopeful” more signings will follow Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to Manchester United this summer.
United announced on Tuesday night they agreed a £43million deal with Real Madrid to sign Varane, having last week completed the £73m capture of Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
Tom Heaton also returned from Aston Villa earlier this month to bolster the Red Devils’ goalkeeping department, with the 35-year-old set to provide back-up to Dean Henderson and David de Gea.
It has been a positive start to the transfer window for United, who were back in pre-season action with a 2-2 draw against Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side twice took the lead against the newly promoted Bees, with Anthony Elanga’s opener cancelled out by Shandon Baptiste, while Andreas Pereira netted an incredible volley from outside the box before Bryan Mbuemo levelled late on.
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In his programme notes for the game, Solskjaer said his squad was looking “in better shape” than this time 12 months ago – although he was optimistic of more new additions.
The United manager wrote: “I’m absolutely thrilled that we have managed to conclude a deal for Jadon Sancho, who we regard as one of the most exciting young attackers in the game, while it’s also great to have Tom Heaton back home in our goalkeeping department once more.
“I’m hopeful that there might be a little more business done by us before the summer window closes, while I’m also mindful that a lot of our squad members underwent great development on loan last term, so there’s no question that we go into this season in better shape than last season.”
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Several of United’s youngsters impressed during the draw with Brentford on Wednesday, and Solskjaer said some would be going out on loan in the coming weeks to gain more first-team experience.
“There are loan deals already arranged for some of the boys and I would expect more to be agreed in the coming days and weeks,” he wrote.
“And those are important because we have some really talented lads who need to get out there and play competitive senior football.”
Elanga was among the youngsters to give a good account of themselves, having earned a start following his goalscoring appearance from the bench in Saturday’s defeat to QPR.
The 19-year-old caught with his movement and directness, and produced a tremendous volley to open the scoring after being picked out by a cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Teden Mengi – who is wanted by a number of Championship clubs on loan – put in a steady performance in the heart of the defence and did well to marshal the threat of Ivan Toney.
Mengi was partnered by Axel Tuanzebe, who has significantly more experience but is another likely to depart on loan this summer with Premier League sides interested.
James Garner, Shola Shoretire, Facundo Pellestri and Hannibal Mejbri were among those to feature in the second half – showing the depth of young talent in the Old Trafford ranks.
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