Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained how he will phase Manchester United’s international players into pre-season preparations upon their return before the new Premier League season.
Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho and Fred all went to the final of Euro 2020 and Copa America respectively and have therefore been granted extended breaks, which could hamper Solskjaer’s preparations.
The five players, who are all expected to be starters when they’re back, will go on three-week-long vacations, which means that none will return before the start of August.
Manchester United welcome Leeds to Old Trafford on 14 August in their first Premier League fixture but could be without some of their players, giving fringe players such as Daniel James and Alex Telles a chance to impress.
But Solskjaer has insisted that despite featuring for their countries until recently, he is confident all of his players will be ready when Marcelo Bielsa’s side make the trip to Old Trafford.
“Players, you know, need some downtime and some rest,” Solskjaer told ManUtd.com. “Of course some need less or more than others and, when you’ve got to the final like Fred, Harry, Luke and Marcus have done, you have to sacrifice maybe a week while the other can get up to a month, while we’ve had five weeks with the ones who have started already.
“I think everybody will be fresh for the new season. Last season, as we know, was a long one and a challenging one and I can’t wait for it to start.”