Solskjaer’s starlets ‘ready’ for Palace, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Solskjaer’s starlets ‘ready’ for Palace

United boss talks up Chong, Gomes and Garner amid injury crisis

Manchester United's caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned to his youth players after a spate of injuries left him short of options for tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) English Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.

Having lost Nemanja Matic before last Sunday's goalless draw with Liverpool, United's injury woes worsened as Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard picked up knocks in the first half and Marcus Rashford completed the game with an ankle problem.


Anthony Martial, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Mason Greenwood are also doubtful for the trip to London, reported Reuters.

"We've not really had a session yet, so I don't think there's a lot of positives. I don't know," Solskjaer, who has guided United to eight wins in 10 league games since taking over last December, said yesterday.

The Norwegian has called up academy midfielders Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and James Garner and backed the three teenagers to step up to the challenge.

"They have been part of our training for a long time," Solskjaer added.

"Angel has been in that successful England Under-17 team, with (Jadon) Sancho and (Callum) Hudson-Odoi and (Phil) Foden, so he's been a big part of that.

"I'm definitely sure that if he gets a chance, he'll do well.

"Jimmy Garner, he's a Michael Carrick, but 20 years younger, so I'm sure he'll do well, and Chong, he'll definitely be taking people on if he comes on.

"They're ready, they're kids.

"It's hard when you're a defender coming on, if you're 16, 17, but as an attacker, you just go out there and express yourself.

"They can win you the game, they don't lose it for you."

Winger Gomes, 18, became the first player born in the 2000s to appear in the EPL when he came on during United's final game of the 2016/17 campaign against Palace.

Dutch Under-21 wide man Chong, 19, made his Red Devils debut against Reading in the FA Cup last month.

Garner is the youngest of the trio at 17 and has yet to make his United bow, but has played for England at youth level.

Besides the youngsters, United's injury crisis up front presents a chance for Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to stake their claims for starting berths.

Said Solskjaer: "It's a chance for them to play to their potential. Reputation is one thing, but the potential is high.

"The two are good mates and they link up well together, so this might be a chance for those two together to find some form and give us a selection headache for when everyone gets fit.

"Rom created our two biggest chances against Liverpool.

"It's a different position for him, but... Rom's attitude and workrate were fantastic.Hopefully Alexis and Rom can step up."

Lukaku, who played a right-wing role against Liverpool, said he's happy to play anywhere for Solskjaer.

He said: "Left or right or up front it doesn't matter to me.

"Playing for this club is an honour. If it is on the right, then I will try to create chances, which I did against Liverpool, and if it is up front, then I will try to score goals."