Manchester United: Marcos Rojo heading for Boca but Solskjaer retains hope for Lingard
While Marcos Rojo is set to leave Manchester United permanently, Jesse Lingard could yet have a long-term future at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Marcos Rojo is set to leave Manchester United, but Jesse Lingard could still have a future at the club despite nearing a loan move to West Ham. Argentina international Rojo has played for United since 2014, when he was brought in by Louis van Gaal, but has long been out of the first-team reckoning. The last time he managed to reach double figures for Premier League appearances in a single season was 2016-17, when he played 21 times in Jose Mourinho's first campaign in charge.
But injuries and poor form saw that figure drop to nine in 2017-18 – he then featured just five times in 2018-19 and thrice last term before he was sent to former club Estudiantes on loan. His brief stint back in Argentina did not go to plan either as he made a solitary appearance due to injury, while he has not played for United in any competition since returning.
A social media post from someone purporting to be his personal trainer earlier this week appeared to lift the lid on Rojo's next move, claiming he was set to start training with Boca Juniors. And Solskjaer confirmed the defender's exit is almost complete, with Lingard also on the way out.
"It's likely that Jesse's loan deal with West Ham is going through," the United manager said on Friday. "Likely that Marcos goes back to Argentina, a little bit of paperwork left to be done, I think. Sergio [Romero], I've not heard anything there apart from that he'll be with us for the rest of his contract."
2 - Jesse Lingard has scored in back-to-back matches for Manchester United for the first time since December 2018, with his equaliser coming just two minutes and 38 seconds after LASK's opener. Levelled. #MUNLASK pic.twitter.com/8Pc65U5VHz— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 5, 2020
Hope for Lingard at United
But while Rojo and Romero are due to leave permanently, there still appears to be a hint of hope for Lingard at Old Trafford. The attacking midfielder is a product of United's academy and featured prominently under Van Gaal, Mourinho and – initially – Solskjaer, but he is yet to make a single Premier League appearance for United in 2020-21. The England international has seemingly been the player impacted the most by Bruno Fernandes' arrival a year ago, but Solskjaer says there will be a place for him in the squad if he can get himself back on track with high-flying West Ham.
"We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good a player he is," Solskjaer said. "Of course, he's just been unfortunate with a couple of issues, some periods he had to stay away from us with COVID and isolation and close contact. The rest of the team has done well, we've had little to no injuries and he's not forced his way into the team, unfortunately. I just want him to go there and enjoy himself, show how good a player he is, and come back and show he's a Man United player through and thorough."
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