Solskjaer outlines Man Utd man’s reintegration plan; profiles ideal midfielder

Diogo Dalot will get his chances at Manchester United this season, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – who insists there was a reason for his loan spell with AC Milan last season.

Solskjaer outlines Man Utd man’s reintegration plan; profiles ideal midfielder

Solskjaer outlines Man Utd man’s reintegration plan; profiles ideal midfielder

Dalot came on as a substitute in the first half of Man Utd’s loss to Young Boys in the Champions League in midweek following Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card. Although it was his second appearance of the season, the first had only lasted for a short time, so this was his first real chance to show what he has learned since his time away from the club.

After joining United in 2018 but struggling to make a breakthrough, the full-back built up more experience in Italy with Milan last season. Solskjaer’s side then resisted the temptation to cash in on him, instead making use of him as a rotation option.

The Portugal international should get some more chances this season despite Wan-Bissaka being the preferred starter. Indeed, Solskjaer was keen to stress that Dalot was not loaned out for the sake of it and that he has always retained a place in their plans.

“Diogo has had a very good summer with being called up to Euros. He did well for Portugal Under-21s and had a season on loan that he learnt a lot from in Milan,” Solskjaer said.

“He kept fit, which was a big thing. And he’s got qualities that we look at trying to exploit more and more, of course he’s got more experience.

“We’re not here just to loan out players for years and years. Last year’s loan was was to give him experience and game time and I think he did well when he came on the other night.”

While some players made their case for further appearances, it was largely a night to forget for United.

They would have been hoping to make a good start in their Champions League group after dropping out of the competition last season, when they went on to reach the Europa League final.

Ambitions are high at Old Trafford this season on all fronts. Therefore, Solskjaer knows they need to get straight back to work to put that wrong from midweek right.

“Of course you wait to see when you see them this morning when you come back in. The attitude is like you expect it to,” he said of their reaction to defeat.

“They’re focused of course, a little bit disappointed but not too downbeat. We know it’s a setback and we have to do better and we’ve got five games to get 10 to 12 points we need. Not the start we wanted but we’re a good team that can bounce back again and the group is very good.”

Inconsistency has been a  theme of Solskjaer’s tenure as United boss. Although things did seem to be heading in the right direction last season. In addition, the summer signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho can only help.

But they need to shake off the constant switches between highs and lows, even if Solskjaer wants more balanced judgements.

“No, it doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “I’ve got my job and we do our job. You tend to in the media get judged by behaviours and outcomes rather than intentions. It’s black and white.

“But we go into the game with good intentions; we make changes with good intentions, go into a tackle and make a pass with good intentions. The outcome always decides which headline we’ll see and very very rarely is the game fantastic or really really bad. It just hovers about good or not good enough.

“We know the expectations are high and we expect more of ourselves as well. The performance wasn’t up to our standard.”

Solskjaer makes midfield claim One area of Solskjaer’s team that wasn’t strengthened over the summer, despite there being rumours of that happening, was central midfield.

Of course, the club managed to keep hold of Paul Pogba, but he is still yet to sign a new contract. It will likely continue to be an area of doubt for months to come.

In addition, Solskjaer has the likes of Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic to choose from in a deeper role, and Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard in more advanced territory.

But asked for his overall midfield philosophy, Solskjaer said he wanted complete players without giving away too much.

“I’m not here to explain every single detail of how I want my team to play,” he responded. “We want central midfielders who can play.

“Today’s football is about he’s a good 6, 8, 10; back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Bryan Robson. You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.

“It’s a balance between with how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.

“Overarching philosophy… I don’t sit here and claim and talk… football is a simple game and it’s about making good decisions and being in a team.

“Sometimes we look too much into the all intricacies and it’s passion, it’s desire – who wants to win the ball? Which one of the striker has the desire to get on the end of crosses?

“You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it’s who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I’m getting there with my team, team players.”

READ MORE: Solskjaer suggests surprise Lingard twist; explains how to deal with Ronaldo attention

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