‘It’s going to be survival of the fittest’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promises to be brutal in deciding futures of his Manchester United stars this summer
- Manchester United players will be axed this summer as part of a ruthless cull
- There is a question mark over the futures of a number of players at the club
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s turnaround has been halted by four defeats in five games
Manchester United players will be axed this summer as part of a ruthless ‘survival of the best’ cull at Old Trafford, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned.
Four defeats in five games has seen United drop to sixth place in the Premier League as well as going out of the FA Cup to Wolves and losing the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.
There is a question mark over the futures of a number of players at the club regardless of how the season pans out over the next month.
Manchester United players will be axed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer in a ruthless cull
Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo are among those set to leave, while Solskjaer will be allowed to make the final decision over Alexis Sanchez whose United career has been a profound disappointment.
Others could follow and Solskjaer insists that he and his assistant Mike Phelan will not shirk from making some tough calls in the coming months.
‘I’m under no illusions that this is not going to be plain sailing, it’s going to be hard,’ he said.
‘It’s going to be survival of the fittest – or survival of the best. That’s how ruthless we have to be.
‘We need players here who are going to be able to take us forward. That means culture in the dressing-room, and what we do every single day here to make us challenge again.
‘Liverpool and Man City are too far head at the moment for what we like. We played against a Barcelona team that sets the standard in European football.
‘We’re under no illusion it’s going to be hard work and there will be some tough decisions made by me, Mick and the club.’
Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are among those set to leave
Four defeats in five games has seen the momentum gathered by Solskjaer quickly evaporate
Solskjaer expects to learn more about his players now results are not going well than he did during a successful start to his spell in charge.
He singled out midfielders Scott McTominay and Fred for their performances against Barcelona in midweek in the absence of Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera.
‘We have a certain standard here,’ added Solskjaer. ‘We got a great boost, now it’s more challenging times with the results and performances.
‘You want to see players step up now and say, “I want to be part of this”. You saw Fred and Scott the other day took the mantle up. That’s what we expect from all the players.
‘When you win 5-0 or when you’re 3-0 up or when you win five games on the bounce, it’s easy to be a footballer.
‘But it’s not always easy to be a footballer. You get through tougher times. You’ll lose games and your character is revealed.’
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