Man Utd outcasts Van de Beek, Sancho and Lingard could be given chance vs Watford to save stars for Villarreal clashNovember 18, 2021
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER could be ready to roll the dice and gamble against Watford by bringing in two of Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho.
All three were able to rest and train at Carrington over the last fortnight as they were not involved in international duty.
Now after six defeats in 12 – a run that has left Solskjaer’s job hanging by a thread – the Norwegian may consider next Tuesday's Champions League away trip to Villarreal more important than a trip to face the Hornets.
Stung by recent criticism of his treatment of the three, he is perhaps in a no lose situation by starting two, or indeed all three, at a club that stands a place above the relegation zone after four defeats from their last five games.
There were ironic cheers when Solskjaer finally brought Van de Beek into the action for the final ten minutes in place of the much-maligned Fred as Man Utd were overwhelmed by Manchester City last time out.
It was only his second appearance this season and he has made just four Premier League starts since his £35million switch from Ajax in the summer of 2020
Lingard meanwhile may well feel harder done by given his contributions.
He came on to score in the 4-1 win over Newcastle, got the late winner away at West Ham, with whom he excelled on loan last season.
He also did brilliantly to set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s last gasp winner at home to Villarreal on September 29th having only come on in the 89th minute.
Since then he has only featured in 18 minutes of football and lost his place in the England squad.
Sancho, a £73million signing in the summer, cannot point to either a goal or assist in his 13 appearances for the club, only six of which have been starts.
But with more creation needed throughout the team to assist Ronaldo, will it be seen as such a risk to start a player who scored 50 goals and had 64 assists in 137 games for Borussia Dortmund?
Both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford were not called up by Gareth Southgate for the two recent international victories which will also give Solskjaer a freshness to his squad for the Watford game on Saturday.
His side will fly out to Spain just 48 hours later for a game against Villarreal in a Champions League tie that is crucial in their bid to make the next stage having been knocked out in the groups last season.
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A week on Sunday they will end a run of three away games in nine days with an unenviable trip to current league leaders Chelsea.
It is a period where Solskjaer just has to get his team selection and tactics right.
And he may decide after a miserable recent run, that it is time for change.
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