Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned he will not buy ‘rotten apples’ for his Manchester United squad and wants new signings to fit in with the existing dressing room.
The Norwegian signed Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in his first summer at the club as he built a squad around young and primarily British players.
While Bruno Fernandes arrived in January, Solskjaer’s focus does seem to be on up and coming players who fit the existing mould.
It comes in contrast to those who were bought before Solskjaer took over after a series of high-profile, expensive mistakes.
Paul Pogba has faced criticism for his attitude and has not hit the heights expected of him when United broke the transfer record to bring him back for £89million in 2016. Graeme Souness, for example, wrote last season: ‘Pogba plays for himself, it’s all about how cool he looks, showing us how clever he is.
‘I reckon Pogba’s only in the team to maintain his transfer value until United can sell him, because he doesn’t merit his place for any other reason. Perhaps we’re now seeing the selfish player Fergie didn’t fancy first time round?’
Alexis Sanchez, who earns £500,000-a-week, has been farmed out on loan to Inter Milan after struggling following his move from Arsenal.
Romelu Lukaku, another expensive purchase, was sold to the Italian giants last summer.
And Solskjaer has now made it clear that he wants new arrivals – with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz linked – at the end of the season that reflect his own personality.
‘I did feel that I was professional and did feel privileged to play for Manchester United,’ Solskjaer told the Shiv Nadar Foundation.
‘I wouldn’t be able to look at myself if I didn’t know I’d given everything for my team-mates and my manager.
‘That’s what I also now look for in players that we sign or we bring up from the youth team. You have to have a good personality and that you are professional because one rotten apple in the basket will make the others rotten.