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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains Anthony Martial absence for Man Utd’s clash with Southampton


The Frenchman travelled to the south coast but is not in the matchday squad (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Anthony Martial became ill overnight, ruling him out of Sunday’s clash with Southampton despite travelling with the squad.

The Frenchman – who is yet to net in the Premier League this season – was a surprise omission from United’s team, with Mason Greenwood brought into the starting XI to replace him.

But Solskjaer has allayed fears that Martial has picked up an injury and says he has stayed at the team hotel after catching an illness, which is not believed to be coronavirus.

Greenwood is handed just his fourth Premier League start (Picture: Getty)

‘Anthony fell ill overnight,’ the United boss told MUTV. ‘So he’s in the hotel by himself, poor lad.’

Solskjaer had several attacking options at his disposal to replace Martial, opting for teenager Greenwood over veteran summer signing Edinson Cavani.

Explaining his thinking, Solskjaer added: ‘Edinson played well midweek, but we felt Mason needed a game to start.’

The only other change from United’s last Premier League outing sees Donny van de Beek handed his first start in the league after impressing in midweek in the Champions League.

Solskjaer insists he has just been giving the former Ajax midfielder time to settle and is confident he can make an impression against Southampton.

Van de Beek is also handed his first start in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)

Asked if Van de Beek is ready, Solskjaer replied instantly: ‘Yeah, definitely [Van de Beek is ready].

‘He’s been good in the games he’s played so it’s never been, “Is it the Premier League or Champions League?”, it’s giving him time to settle into the group.’

Van de Beek will play in a more advanced role with Nemanja Matic and Fred behind him, with Greenwood partnering Marcus Rashford up top with Bruno Fernandes in support.


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