Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed a belief Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles have added a new tactical dimension to his side. The trio all moved to Old Trafford back in the summer transfer window. And despite all three struggling for starting opportunities, the Norwegian has been enthused.
United made Van de Beek their first signing of the transfer window, paying £40million to land the playmaker from Ajax.
Then, on deadline day, the Red Devils also brought Cavani and Telles to the club.
Cavani signed on a free transfer from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain and has recently made substitute cameos against Chelsea and RB Leipzig.
Telles, meanwhile, has played just once – against PSG in the Champions League win.
Van de Beek has also found minutes tough to come by so far, failing to start in the Premier League since his arrival.
But Solskjaer has now expressed a belief that the trio have all given him more tactical options, saying: “We’ve been searching for our fitness and form [in the opening weeks].
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“Good players can always play together.
“It’s very unpredictable,”
“We have different players and different systems to play now. Last season, we put a lot of effort into our principles, the way we want to play.
“This season, we’ve added quality in the squad with Cavani, van de Beek and Telles. Paul [Pogba] is back fit, Marcus is back fit, so we’ve got more options.
“We’ve got more options tactically. If you want to play 4-3-3, a diamond, 3-4-3, 3-5-2… we’ve got more options.
“[As long as] there’s a balance in the team. You can’t play 10 forwards in a team, of course, you need balance and that’s what we need to find.”
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He then added: “You want competition for places.
“You want the players to know that there’s someone who can take their place and you want players who can deal and cope with that pressure. You have to do that if you’re a part of Manchester United.”
The Premier League has been unpredictable so far this season, with many of the top teams struggling for consistency.
And Solskjaer said of that: “It’s very unpredictable.
“It’s going to be difficult to predict and a very long season.
“It lasted until the end of July for most of the teams, for us it was almost the end of August, and we started again in the middle of September without a break.
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“I talked about it, Pep [Guardiola] has talked about it, all the managers are talking about it. We have to look after the players, both physically and mentally.
“We have already seen some strange results, so I don’t want to predict how many points the winners are going to get.
“But it’s going to be tighter than in the last couple of seasons, definitely. There are quite a few teams below who have moved up and put a challenge up.
“I’ve just got to think about us and what we do. Last season we started really poorly.
“After nine games, we had two wins. We’ve got two wins now, so of course, we need to get more points on the board. In the first eight or nine games you don’t win the league, but you’ve got to make sure you haven’t lost the chance to challenge for the league.”
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