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Sunday 18 August 2019

Solskjaer upbeat ahead of kick-off despite fans' concerns

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United will be better off without Romelu Lukaku as the manager approaches the season with positivity amid a backdrop of discontent.

Frank Lampard's Chelsea arrive at Old Trafford tomorrow as the Premier League season gets under way on the back of some promising performances and impressive training work during pre-season.

But things away from the pitch at United have not been so rosy, with fan disillusionment fuelled by a perceived lack of improvements in the transfer window.

Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all look impressive acquisitions, but Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia and Lukaku have left on the back of Marouane Fellaini's January departure.

"I think when the transfer window closes it's that great feeling of relief," Solskjaer said the day after it shut.

"Now it's done now, we know (who) we're looking forward with and I'm delighted with the three we've signed.

"Well (frustration) is not the feeling inside the club anyway and the feeling with the fans I've met, they are excited with the ones we've had.

"Of course, there is always going to be fans out there wanting to sign players. That's just part and parcel of being here.

"The players are here now, they've been shown that trust and we believe in them."

Teenager Mason Greenwood is among those who Solskjaer will put faith in this season - and is part of the reason why he was happy to let Lukaku leave.

The 26-year-old's inevitable exit to Inter Milan became rather unsavoury as he started the week training with boyhood club Anderlecht, but an €80million (£73.75million) deal was sealed on Thursday.

"It was time now for Rom to go because I think we got a good deal. He's happy, so I think both parties ended that deal as it should be," Solskjaer said.

"Rom was injured for a while this pre-season, he didn't participate, so I just hope for him that he'll get a good start at Inter Milan."

Pulled up on the fact that he had last month said any further sales would be replaced, Solskjaer said: "Towards the end of last season, we didn't score a lot of goals, did we?

"And you do have players that you think will have an impact and Mason Greenwood's pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course, if we had another forward there.

"For me, I believe Mason is going to be playing and involved a lot and when he is, he'll score goals."

It is a fair amount of pressure on a 17-year-old, who will be involved in some capacity against Chelsea - a Premier League opener that, for some, comes without the normal buzz and excitement due to frustrations about how the club operates.

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