Fred and Andreas Pereira to fill Paul Pogba void: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Fred and Andreas Pereira to bring energy and creativity to his team's midfield in the absence of the injured Paul Pogba.
French World Cup winner Pogba, who has missed eight of United's last 10 matches, is expected to remain on the sidelines until December due to an ankle problem.
Pereira has featured in United's last seven English Premier League matches, with Fred starting the last three league games.
"I think his energy and drive - the two Brazilians to be fair, Fred and Andreas - they are going to be important for us," said Solskjaer, ahead of United's League Cup fourth-round clash at Chelsea tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
"Fred will probably take Paul's position for a while now and that's been brilliant for us.
"But Andreas has grown in the last few games. His energy and running, chasing, he is a different sort of No. 10.
"There is no use talking about who is not going to be here for a long, long time... Paul's been brilliant and he is a creative midfielder that we need, but then it is up to the others to step up."
Solskjaer's former United teammate Roy Keane does not think as highly of Fred, though.
In surmising why Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen would not improve United, the Irishman said on Sky Sports: "He won't make Manchester United better but, having said that, Man United bought Fred."
The last time United played Chelsea was on the opening weekend of the season in August, but Solskjaer does not expect a repeat of the 4-0 scoreline at Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard's Blues are on a seven-game winning run in all competitions, with youngsters Tammy Abraham, 22, Mason Mount, 20, and Fikayo Tomori, 21, cementing their first-team spots after spending last season out on loan.
"It is a very exciting team," said Solskjaer.
"Frank has got players that have been on loan for one or two seasons in the Championship.
"The difference between my youngsters is that they are almost stepping right now onto the scene."
United youngsters Brandon Williams, 19, and James Garner, 18, could make their first domestic starts against Chelsea after playing in the last two Europa League matches.
"We have not made a decision on who is going to play, but you will probably see the two of them," Solskjaer added.
"Character will be revealed in tough times, but I think they have done excellent, the young kids... I couldn't be any happier with many of the youngsters." - REUTERS