Marcus Rashford is taking time to “reflect” on whether he requires surgery on his troublesome shoulder, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær stating any decision taken has to be best for the forward and Manchester United.
Rashford has been carrying the problem since last November and admitted during England’s Euro 2020 finals campaign that he was not 100% fit. The 23-year-old is on holiday following the tournament and while he had been expected to have an operation on his shoulder the manager indicated a decision had not yet been made.
Solskjær said: “We’re looking at the best option, he went away just to reflect on it a little bit and we have to take the best course of action for him and the club.” The Norwegian was pressed on whether Rashford might not have surgery. “We’re still addressing that with the experts,” Solskjær answered.
England lost the Euro 2020 final against Italy after a penalty shootout, with Rashford missing a kick, together with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. All three of the players subsequently suffered racist abuse.
The latest incident came when a mural in Darlington depicting the trio’s numbers – 17, 25, 11 – was defaced with the words: “We do not stand with the 3 Black Lions.” The words were quickly painted over and anti-racism campaigners gathered in support of Rashford, Sancho and Saka, while Solskjær offered his own support.
“It’s very disappointing and sad,” he said. “They play football, they do the best for the club, do the best for their family, do their best for their country and are brave enough to step up and take penalties, that’s a win in itself.”
Sancho’s move from Borussia Dortmund to United for £73m is yet to be officially confirmed. “From what I understand only paperwork, small little details, hopefully we can announce something [soon],” Solskjær said. “Let’s get all the paperwork done and get him over the line and then I can say what I truly feel about the player.”
Solskjær was speaking after United won 2-1 at Derby County in their opening pre-season friendly, with Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri scoring for the visitors, before Colin Kazim-Richards pulled one back.
Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham, played the second half. Regarding his future Solskjær said: “Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place and there’s nothing better than seeing players want to fight for their place.
“What he did towards the end of last season [at West Ham]: that’s the true Jesse, that’s what we know he’s capable of and we saw towards the end that we lacked some options at times and Jesse is in the plans at the moment, yeah.”
While Pellistri may again be loaned out, following their respective injuries Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial will return to full training on Monday but Bruno Fernandes will not return to the club until the opening week of August after his Euro 2020 participation with Portugal.
Derby have only nine contracted players because of a transfer embargo imposed as punishment for financial irregularities. Ravel Morrison, Phil Jagielka, Sam Baldock, and Sone Aluko are all free agents who featured against United.
Wayne Rooney was asked if he would continue as manager if the club’s situation does not improve. “Derby gave me a chance [so] I’ll do my best for this club – of course I need help, support [and] I believe that support will come – I have to be focused on the lads. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs [of the club’s predicament],” he said.