After scoring 12 goals in three games under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United could add another weapon to their attacking arsenal at Newcastle on Wednesday, with Alexis Sanchez set to return from injury.
The Chilean has been sidelined by a hamstring injury for the past month, meaning he missed the final days of Jose Mourinho’s reign in charge at Old Trafford.
Sanchez was signed to much fanfare last January from Arsenal on reportedly the most lucrative contract in Premier League history, but has so far failed to deliver on expectations, scoring just four goals in 30 appearances.
However, Solskjaer believes the more positive approach he has adopted in wins over Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth to begin his temporary spell in charge until the end of the season will suit Sanchez’s game.
“He’s a player that would benefit from the rotation (of positions) and movements, and the more chances you create, the more times you get the ball into the final third, he’ll be an asset for us,” said Solskjaer.
“I think he’s looking forward to it. It certainly looked like it yesterday (Saturday) in the (training) session because he scored quite a few nice goals, so that’s encouraging.”
Solskjaer has been credited for restoring United’s principles of attacking football after two-and-a-half seasons with Mourinho’s more cautious approach.
Shunned by Mourinho for his final three league games in charge, Paul Pogba has roared back into form by scoring four goals in his last two games, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also appear to be flourishing with more freedom to attack.
However, Solskjaer insisted he is only implementing what he learned for 11 seasons as a player under Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
United’s decline in the past five years has coincided with Ferguson’s retirement and Solskjaer said he invited the club’s most successful manager to visit his players and coaching staff, which includes one of Ferguson’s former assistants Mike Phelan, at United’s Carrington training ground.
“I do keep him informed. He visited us yesterday (Saturday) and I think he enjoyed his time at the training ground,” said Solskjaer.
“We had a nice few chats and he encouraged us. He knows we are Man Utd through and through and we want to do whatever we can up to the last second we are here.”
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)