Tuesday, May 25, 2021

By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer, Gdansk

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will “probably try to join in” training in a late bid to play in the Europa League final.

The 28-year-old sustained ankle ligament damage at Aston Villa 16 days ago and was using crutches until last week.

Solskjaer included Maguire in the squad heading to Gdansk, where United take on Villarreal in Wednesday’s final.

“We’ve prepared well,” United boss Solskjaer said. “Anthony (Martial) didn’t make it, Phil (Jones) of course didn’t make it and Harry is just going to jog up and down the sideline, I reckon.

“He’ll probably try to join in (training) a little but apart from that we’re looking quite good.”

The decision on Maguire may be taken out of Solskjaer’s hands, but he has some other big decisions to mull over such as whether to start David De Gea or Dean Henderson between the sticks.

Manchester United goalkeepers David De Gea, left, and Dean Henderson
Manchester United goalkeepers David De Gea, left, and Dean Henderson are vying to start in Poland (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

“It’s always difficult to leave players out but it’s throughout the whole season,” the United boss said.

“A final is a reward for what you’ve done the whole season, then if there’s a doubt between a couple it’s the form in the latter stages, of course.

“But we’ll enjoy the last session and the players will get the team tomorrow.”

Solskjaer is looking to lead United to glory 22 years to the day since he struck to complete the treble with a last-gasp winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Sir Alex Ferguson was in the hotseat that night and travelled with the squad to Poland, while May 26th is also the birthday of the late, great Sir Matt Busby.

“We have five wins in Europe, we’ve lost twice to Barcelona,” Solskjaer said.

“These are big nights for us. It might be the stepping stone for something better to come, a bright future because this team is a young team.

“It’s a team that we’ve rebuilt over the last couple of years, so hopefully this is the start of something more.

“Of course Sir Alex is with us, we know the 26th of May is Sir Matt’s birthday but the players when they sign for Man United, they sign to win trophies.

“They accept the challenge of being the best because this is the best club in the world, so that’s the pleasure of the pressure of Man United.

“That’s something they are ready for because they wouldn’t have signed here if they weren’t top players.”

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