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Solskjaer: Man United need new midfield leader

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Published in Soccer
Monday, 15 July 2019 05:11

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he needs a player like Bryan Robson in his team as he looks to strengthen his midfield ahead of next season.

Solskjaer is looking for at least one new midfielder this summer after Marouane Fellaini's January move to Shandong Luneng and Ander Herrera's departure on a free to Paris Saint-Germain.

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And the Norwegian has said Robson, a dynamic midfielder known for his leadership qualities as captain of both United and England, is the type of player he is looking for.

"We are on the way to building a new squad," Solskjaer said, speaking at a fan event alongside Robson in Perth. "We've got new staff in, coaching staff.

"I believe so much in this club and this project. To be manager of this club is fantastic. I never had the honour of playing with Robbo but we need a player like him in the team."

Solskjaer may have even more work to do on his midfield if Paul Pogba gets his way and engineers an exit before the transfer deadline.

Negotiations are continuing with Leicester for defender Harry Maguire and there is still interest in Sean Longstaff and Bruno Fernandes but the United boss said he is running out of time with less than a month left of the window.

He has started to put his own stamp on the squad with the arrivals of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and despite still looking for more additions, he is confident he is taking the club back in the right direction.

"I'm following some great managers," Solskjaer said. "Sir Alex was the best and I'm trying to take the best from him and put my own personality on the job.

"We've got such a big fanbase and such a history that I feel that it is a fantastic opportunity for me. We're waiting for the young ones to come through because we've got so many exciting players and I'm sure we'll see the best of them in the years to come.

"There are some experienced ones as well that still have a few years left in them. We can back to the level we were, definitely.

"I come in at 7 a.m. thinking I'm the first one and Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna] are already there planning the sessions. I know this club is going places because of the people we have here."

United continue their preseason preparations with a game against Leeds United in Perth on Wednesday.

Leeds have left a number of players at home and arrived in Perth with just a 16-man squad. Manager Marcelo Biesla is not due to arrive in Australia until Tuesday and has left open the possibility of returning home immediately afterwards while his players continue on to Sydney to play the Western Sydney Warriors on Saturday.

It means the Argentinian could spend as little as 36 hours in the country either side of two 17-hour flights.

The game against United will also see former Valencia teammates Pablo Hernandez and Juan Mata go head-to-head before Solskjaer's team move on to Singapore to play Inter Milan.

"When I arrived here, I text him and he text me: 'See you Wednesday'," Hernandez said. "He told me he wants my shirt and I want his shirt, I have a lot of his shirts but I want the new one.

"He was my teammate for four years in Valencia and my roommate and I am happy to play against him."

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