Ole Gunnar has confirmed what Manchester United fans suspected. Neither Raphael Varane or Jadon Sancho will be ready to start against Leeds.
This was not what anybody wanted. But it has felt inevitable due to the situation which has unfolded over the past week.
Sancho’s move to United was confirmed on July 23 and Varane’s move days later. But none of the two players will be ready.
Sancho has not yet trained with the first team and Varane only reportedly flew into Manchester tonight.
Speaking to ESPN, Solskjaer said: “They still haven’t trained with us, and I need to see how they are. I can’t see them being available for Everton [this weekend], but hopefully they will be ready to be on the bench [against Leeds].”
Substitutes at best
Barring a miraculous turnaround, Solskjaer’s current projection looks about right. United can’t throw players in without a pre-season.
Sancho’s failure to return yet is frustrating because England teammates Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have done.
Of course there could be various reasons for the delay, including Covid, and or a lengthy requirement to quarantine after holiday in the Caribbean.
Either way it is hugely frustrating. United fans hoped to see him in action in the pre-season friendly against Everton on Saturday and that will not happen.
At best he will have to settle for a cameo role against Leeds from the bench, it seems, which is a blow for United with Marcus Rashford also out with injury.
Sancho could turn it all around and prove his fitness next week, but Solskjaer appears quite accepting of the reality that it will be unlikely.
The Varane move has been held up more by paperwork. The MEN report United hope to unveil him by Wednesday.
He will be available to face Leeds, but Solskjaer won’t be expecting him to play a starting role, which seems fair. The Frenchman can try and change his mind in the few training sessions he will get ahead of the game.
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