No divine right to be in the starting XI for you, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells Martial and Rashford

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that the starting shirt is not a divine right for anyone in his team.

The gaffer was referring to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, saying the forwards will have to continue improving to keep their places as Odion Ighalo is in the wings, putting pressure on the lads. The duo has combined 19 goals, which is their career-best individual tallies so far, but Solskjaer said that wouldn’t stop the club from scouting dor the best forwards.

The Red Devils have been linked with summer moves for Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish, who could be available at a cheap price if Aston Villa gets relegated.

Speaking at a press conference, the former Man United striker said there is a need for competition in the team, adding that whoever thinks he has a divine right to be playing every game and doing so well and the club won’t look for other talents, then they are in the wrong place.

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“I’ve been here myself for so many years as a striker, and Teddy Sheringham comes in, Dwight Yorke comes in, Ruud van Nistelrooy comes in, Wayne Rooney comes in. We’ve always got to look at improving, and if they don’t improve, we might have to look somewhere else to get better because we have to be better. We’re too far away from where we need to be and want to be.”

Martial and Rashford repay Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s faith in them

Solskjaer had put his faith in Rashford and Martial after letting Romelu Lukaku join Inter Milan. Some supporters questioned the former Molde manager’s decision, but the critics have been silenced with the performance of the duo after returning from injuries. They could pass 20 goals in all competitions in the same season for the first time. Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez last achieved this during the 2010-11 season.

While describing Lukaku, who has scored over 13 goals for Inter as a very good goalscorer who will score goals in any team he plays, Solskjaer said it was time for him to move on and pursue other dreams.

Ighalo in training with Fernandez

“For us as a group, it was time to allow our forwards to feel that confidence and feel that demand of playing and being demanded to play every game, two, three, four games, five, six, seven games on the bounce and perform.”

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The pair is expected to start against Brighton tonight at the Amex Stadium after partnering in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United after they were named on the bench for the FA Cup quarterfinal victory over Norwich on Saturday, with Ighalo getting the nod and scoring.

Speaking ahead of the game, Solskjaer has warned his side against complacency against a team fighting away from the relegation zone while his team continues their fight for a place in the top four. 

“Complacency, that kicks you somewhere you don’t want to get kicked in football, and any game is a difficult one, and we’re playing against teams…Brighton, we’ve lost the last two when we’ve gone down there.

“We’ve got Bournemouth, who we’ve lost to. We’ve got Aston Villa, who we drew with at home. We’ve got Palace, who we lost to at home. We’ve got West Ham that we’ve lost to. We’ve got Leicester, which is a very good team. Every game is one we have a point to prove in.”

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