Solskjaer praises Manchester United duo Fred and McTominay and says Telles is fine

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has talked up his midfield options in comments published by the club’s official website.

United take on Aston Villa this week and will move level on points with leaders Liverpool if they win.

That would be a wonderful start to 2021 and much could come down to Solskjaer’s midfield selection.

Gone are the days when United fans bemoaned a lack of quality in the centre of the park. Now Paul Pogba is fighting for a starting spot alongside Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

United have arguably been at their best when the Brazilian and the Scot line up together. The blistering victory over Leeds was testament to that. But Solskjaer understands the need for rotation.

“When you leave out Scott and Fred, it’s not easy because they deserve to play every game,” Solskjaer told

“But Nemanja and Paul played so well against Everton that I wanted that midfield against Wolves.”

With the games coming thick and fast, United will no doubt shake things up once more.

Strength in depth

An injury-time winner last time out painted over a sometimes turgid performance and United will need to be considerably better to beat an impressive Villa team.

Fred has now fully justified his price tag while McTominay is getting better every year. So it would be a surprise if they didn’t both start on Friday.

Solskjaer also has a decision to make at left-back. The United boss replaced Alex Telles with Luke Shaw last time out and he has since explained that it was tactical.

“Alex is fine,” the boss said. But only time will tell if the £15.4m man (BBC) gets the nod.

Telles was hooked at half-time against Wolves and Shaw has looked brilliant when called upon.

He has played a key role at both ends of the field and would be disappointed to be overlooked after his second-half showing a few days earlier.

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Vincent is the Senior Managing Editor of Freshered. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years.