Solskjær defends decision to only sign Donny van de Beek in transfer window
Manager says he will not be frustrated if Man United do not improve as much as other sides
Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek during the Carabao Cup third round match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. Photograph: Nick Potts/NMC Pool/PA Wire
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has denied he will be frustrated if Manchester United do not strengthen as markedly as Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, saying this would be “disrespectful” to Donny van de Beek.
The manager has so far signed just only the 24-year-old midfielder in the transfer window, for an initial £34.7 million (€38 million) from Ajax, but is also targeting Porto’s Alex Telles and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
Liverpool have signed Thiago Alcântara, Diogo Jota, and Kostas Tsimiskas Tsimikas; City have added Nathan Aké and Ferran Torres; and Chelsea are bolstered by Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Édouard Mendy.
The transfer window effectively closes on October 5th and it was put to Solskjær that he would not be human if there was no frustration on his part should Van de Beek prove his only addition, given how three of United’s closest rivals have recruited significantly.
“I think you [the questioner] showed quite a bit of disrespect to Donny when you say he [may be] the only one because he is a top player and he strengthens our team and of course we have to concentrate on ourselves,” Solskjær said.
“Different clubs have to be allowed to do whatever they do and feel they can. We are working hard to have a competitive squad and team. If and when there are updates we will give you them.”
Last season Solskjær’s first-choice attack of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial scored a total 62 goals, with 12 from Bruno Fernandes, the number 10. This term Solskjaer wants more from midfield and defence, citing Van de Beek, Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire as potential sources.
“We need more goals from our set plays,” he said ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime trip to Brighton.
“Harry is one of the best in the league at first contacts from set plays. Can we get more from that?” he said. “Can we get more goals from midfield? Of course that could give us extra points. It needs to give us extra points. We have got players in Donny and Paul who can definitely chip in with more goals, Jesse [Lingard], Juan [Mata], Dan James, they can get up there with a bigger tally as well.”