Man Utd fringe players increasingly frustrated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's lack of rotation

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  • Manchester United
    Manchester United
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    Norwegian association football player and manager
  • Eric Bailly
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  • Donny van de Beek
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  • Dean Henderson
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Man Utd fringe players increasingly frustrated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's lack of rotation - GETTY IMAGES
Man Utd fringe players increasingly frustrated by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's lack of rotation - GETTY IMAGES

A number of Manchester United’s fringe players feel misled about their playing prospects this season amid growing frustration about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to rotate despite a dire run of results that have left his future hanging in the balance.

Solskjaer was determined to carry a big squad into this season and felt it would be essential to United’s hopes of competing on all fronts after the United manager admitted that he had probably “overplayed” some players last term, including Bruno Fernandes.

Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Diogo Dalot, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial all went into this season with an expectation of more playing time.

Yet despite a run of six defeats in the past 12 matches, including humiliations to bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, putting Solskjaer’s job on the line, the manager has remained loyal to largely the same group of players.

It is a situation that has caused mounting frustration among elements of the squad, particularly those who backed away from potential transfers in the summer in the belief that they would play more at Old Trafford.

However, those wishes have mostly gone unfulfilled, even as United’s form has nosedived, and while there is hope in some quarters that the situation will improve ahead of a critical run of games, it remains to be seen if any of the outcasts push for moves in the January transfer window.

Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday marks the start of five games in 15 days as Solskjaer - whose team have taken four points from the past 18 on offer in the league - fights to save his job.

Van de Beek, who has started just four Premier League league games since signing from Ajax for £40 million in September last year, has played just 15 minutes in the league this season.

Lingard has yet to start a league game, despite scoring twice from the bench, and has so far rebuffed United’s attempts to tie him down to a new contract. The England forward is out of contract at the end of the season. As with van de Beek, he is attracting interest from a number of clubs who are monitoring his situation and his continued omission is understood to be a source of bemusement among team-mates.

Jesse Lingard has so far rebuffed attempts to tie him down to a new contract - GETTY IMAGES
Jesse Lingard has so far rebuffed attempts to tie him down to a new contract - GETTY IMAGES

Bailly had made only one appearance, in the League Cup defeat to West Ham in September, before being thrown into action against Atalanta in Bergamo at the start of this month due to injuries to fellow centre-backs Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof.

Telles appeared to hint at his frustration in a cryptic Instagram post before the win at Tottenham last month and Mata’s only appearance this term was in the Carabao Cup against West Ham.

Dalot has yet to start a league game and Martial has started just twice in the league and fallen behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho in the pecking order.

Henderson’s hopes of usurping David De Gea as No 1 suffered a setback when he was struck down by coronavirus in the summer and the Spaniard’s impressive form has meant he has had to settle for a place back on the bench.

It is understood the England goalkeeper will look to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season if the outlook has not improved.

Meanwhile, United said on Monday they were in “advanced talks” with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust about the creation of a new fans’ share scheme that would allow supporters to build an ownership stake in the club.

It would involve the creation of a new share that would carry the same high voting rights as the Class B shares currently held by the Glazers. A fans’ advisory board is also close to being launched as a new channel for board level dialogue with supporters.

Both the share scheme and fans’ advisory board were proposed by United co-chairman Joel Glazer in the wake of the failed European Super Plot as an attempt to build bridges with fans furious at the Americans’ role in the debacle and ownership at Old Trafford.

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