Man Utd boss encourages Lukaku, offers Greenwood update

Date published: Saturday 19th January 2019 9:21

Ole Gunnar Solsjaer has reassured Romelu Lukaku that he remains “a big part” of Manchester United’s squad.

Marcus Rashford has thrived under Solskjaer’s management, making the centre-forward’s place his own which could restrict opportunities for big-money striker Lukaku.

“He’s a big part of the squad, definitely, with his personality around the place,” Solskjaer said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Brighton.

“There’s no one scoring as many goals as him in training.

“There are the three who play the most but then you’ve got Rom, you’ve got Juan (Mata), you’ve got Alexis (Sanchez), so I’ve got a front six I can rotate with and Rom is definitely going to be playing games.”

Anthony Martial – a player Press Association Sport understands remains in talks over a contract extension – is another option, while teenager Mason Greenwood – one of our top 10 most exciting teenagers – could soon get a look in.

The 17-year-old has flourished in United’s youth teams this season and was among the youngsters taken on the warm-weather training camping Dubai, along with Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and James Garner.

“There are quite a few young kids coming through,” Solskjaer said.

“Jimmy Garner was there (in Dubai), Mason, Chongy and Gomes. So, there are players there coming through.

“Mason is one of them. You’ve got to remember that he’s only 17. He’s knocking on the door to get his first appearance and they’ve got a Youth Cup game this coming week as well.”

Solskjaer is keeping a close eye on the youth team as United reconnect with their roots, which the 1999 treble hero understands from his previous spell at the club.

The return of Mike Phelan, Sir Alex Ferguson’s right-hand man, as first-team coach has also helped.

“Mick’s absolutely brilliant,” Solskjaer said. “With his experience, his knowledge and personality around the place.

“Not just for the players and coaches, but the rest of the staff as well.

“We’ve been here so many years that we know people.

“We talk about a family and when you’ve known people for 25 years, it’s easier to create a good atmosphere.

“Mick’s tough but he’s kind. He’s got everything I would want in an assistant.”

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