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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms Mason Greenwood was behind Man United’s decision not to replace Lukaku

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on Romelu Lukaku’s departure from Old Trafford, as well as the club’s decision not to replace the Belgian.

Inter switch

Following weeks of mounting speculation, confirmation of Lukaku’s United exit finally arrived this past Thursday.

The burly hitman secured a deadline day move to Serie A giants Inter Milan, for a fee which could eventually reach almost £74 million:

United’s decision to part ways with Lukaku came after the 26-year-old struggled to just 15 goals across all competitions last season.

In addition, the new high-tempo, technical brand of football employed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is evidently far more suited to some of the other attacking options at the disposal of the Norwegian tactician.

‘Greenwood’s pathway’

Nevertheless, though, it still came as something of a surprise when United opted not to bring in any form of replacement for Lukaku.

As such, speaking during a press conference last night, Red Devils boss Solskjaer was unsurprisingly questioned on the train of thought behind not moving for a new no.9 before the close of the English transfer window on Thursday evening.

And the former United striker went on to cite the development of prodigious youngster Mason Greenwood as key, confirming that, had another attacker been introduced to his squad, ‘Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more difficult’:

‘Towards the end of last season we didn’t score a lot of goals. And you do have players you think will make an impact. And Mason Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more difficult, of course, if we had another forward there.’

‘So, for me, I believe Mason is going to be playing and involved a lot. And when he is, he’ll score goals.’

Quotes via the Manchester Evening News

COLERAINE, NORTHERN IRELAND – JULY 22: Mason Greenwood (R) of Manchester United and Chris Crane (L) of Northern Ireland during the NI Super Cup game between Manchester United u18s and Northern Ireland u18s at the Showgrounds on July 22, 2017 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

‘Time to go’

On Lukaku’s sale, Solskjaer continued:

‘It was time now for Rom [Lukaku] 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.’

‘Rom was injured for a while this pre-season, didn’t participate. So I just hope for him he’ll get a good start at Inter.’

‘Of course, Rom has a good record and stats. He’s one of the top number nines around when you want to play with that kind of striker, a target man.’

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