OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER hit back at Gareth Southgate’s claim that Jadon Sancho is lucky to be in the England squad.
The Manchester United boss reckons the winger put in an ‘electric’ performance against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Solskjaer asked: “Was that interview done before Wednesday night? Jadon was exceptional, he was electric, the crowd loved him.
“I think he felt that connection with the crowd, and that is what we want from him, to be direct, positive, go past players numerous times.
“Yeah he’s not scored yet but that night I thought ‘yeah that’s Jadon’ and we’re going to see loads of that.”
Southgate clearly did not agree with Solskjaer’s assessment of Sancho’s performance on Wednesday as he actually made his claim about the player on Thursday afternoon.
Southgate said: “Does he deserve to be in on these performances over the last few weeks – well probably not, but I think we feel we have invested in Jadon over a period of time, we believe he can get to a high level.”
Solskjaer insists that time spent on the player will be repaid and says he is learning from two of the best in Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.
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He said: “Gareth has also said it’s important Jadon knows they believe in him. They have invested time in him.
“He will be a top player. Performances are going to come.
“We’ve got players here he can learn from and adapt when you’ve got Cristiano and Edinson to learn from in terms of their professionalism, how they conduct themselves.
“But also he has his team mates, Marcus and Jesse from the national team so he’ll come good, we’ve got absolutely no worries.”
Southgate once again left Mason Greenwood out of his squad believing he had originally called him up too soon.
Greenwood, who turned 20 yesterday, has not been in the England set up since September 2020 when he made his international debut playing 13 minutes against Iceland.
He and Manchester City’s Phil Foden breached strict Covid rules when they invited two girls back to the team hotel.
Greenwood turned 20 on Friday and Solskjaer revealed Southgate has had a chat with the player and his family to map a route back into the international fold.
He said: “Gareth has had a frank conversation with Mason and his family and they know the situation.
“They know he is very keen to play for England and understand that the boy is only 20.
“He is not a teenager anymore. He is going to be a top player for Manchester United and England.
“He has to be managed in the right way and for us it gives us a chance to work on his fitness and give him a rest because he has been playing very well in a lot of games at a high intensity.
“He is maturing all the time, getting better all the time so there is time for him to recuperate and get ready for October and the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile Marcus Rashford is set to return to action after the international break following an operation on his shoulder.
He has been training but Friday was the first time since the operation he was involved in full contact situations.
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Solskjaer said: “I hope he will be involved against Leicester.
“He has been in training he has been working really hard, joining in with the group as a floater, no tackles or contact.
“This was the first day he could be tackled and that happens and let’s hope that he gets his bearings and finds his movements early on.”
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