Solskjaer comments on Hugill, Diallo, and Phil Jones

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer held his press conference ahead of the visit of Southampton this afternoon.

At the briefing, which was streamed live on the club’s official app at 1:30pm, he spoke about two players at opposite ends of their Manchester United careers.

It might have been expected that Phil Jones would leave the club in January, but Solskjaer says the Englishman is fighting to get fit.

And when asked about how close Amad Diallo’s debut is, Solskjaer namechecked another exciting young talent in Joe Hugill, who scored four goals against Liverpool this weekend.

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“I can confirm there won’t be anyone coming in, so don’t stay up late,” said Solskjaer.

“Phil (Jones) has been recovering from a knee injury, an operation he had, he will be included on the list (of player available to play in the Premier League).

“Hopefully he’ll get his fitness back sooner rather than later and be available to play.”

When asked about Diallo’s debut on the back of a two-goal maiden outing for the Under-23s on Saturday, Solskjaer said: “We’re gonna give him the time to settle in. If we go from that game, I’d pick Joe Hugill.

“He scored four goals, should have taken the penalty and got five instead of giving it to Amad, so Amad got two.

Elaborating on Diallo he added: “I don’t think it’s gonna be too long before he’s involved in a matchday squad.”

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Some might have expected Solskjaer to say Jones is on his way out. United could have followed Arsenal’s lead with Sokratis and torn his contact up.

Instead, United look set to try and get some of their money’s worth and add him to their squad ahead of the busy end to the season.

In truth, it would be a surprise if Jones got fit enough to play this season. And if he does, forced himself close enough to the top of the central defensive pecking order to play.

While some fans may be tired of Jones, they’ll be buzzing to see more of Hugill.

He has 14 goals in 17 appearances this season and is exciting as any talent in the United youth setup.

It would be a surprise to see Hugill involved in the senior side any time soon but perhaps the Europa League will provide an opportunity for him to be involved from the bench.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.