Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Describes Europa League as an opportunity to Groom Young players

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The manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has described UEFA Europa League as an opportunity to groom young players who might not have had the chance to play in UEFA Champions League.

The manager who stated this on Sunday during a pre-match conference in Germany ahead of their Europa League quarter-final match against Copenhagen today, August 10, earlier said winning the tournament would be his biggest achievement as a football manager.

Though the 47-year-old Norwegian football manager has won almost every major title as a football player including the UEFA Champions League, especially while playing for Manchester United between 1996 and 2007, he is yet to win any major title for Manchester United as a coach.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been the manager of Manchester United since 2018. The best he has achieved with the club as a manager was a UEFA Champions League qualification after he led them to finish third at the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season.

Hence, all his effort and that of the Manchester United squad are focused on the tournament. Yet, that has not stopped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from trying younger players since the tournament commenced. He has even hinted that he would play 19-year-old Brandon Williams against FC Copenhagen tonight.

“We went into this season knowing that Europa League is a great chance for us one to get a trophy, to get far in a tournament,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Sunday. “But also to groom a few of the youngsters and it was perfect for us.

“I think if we’d been in the Champions League this season – of course, we all want to be the Champions League – I probably or maybe wouldn’t have had the chance to play the likes of Brandon (Williams) as much as we have, Mason (Greenwood) – so many of the young kids who have now started what’s going to be fantastic careers.

“The Europa League has also been about that as well. It’s about keeping the squad together, have a group that is working together, and giving people chances.

“When they take them – Brandon is going to play in a quarter-final in the Europa League. It’s a great achievement for him this season and it’s perfect for us.”

The major Challenge before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have been in a perfect form so far in the Europa League. They got to the last-eight of the tournament which would be hosted in Cologne, Germany in a one-legged affair, by topping group L. They continued with the form as they knocked out LASK 7-1 on aggregate in the round of 16. They proceeded to the last-eight of the tournament unbeaten.

However, as it stands, Manchester United only have two clubs to be wary about in the tournament – Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen. They are most likely to meet either of the two clubs in the final of the competition on 21 August 2020 at RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany.

Inter Milan which will face Bayer Leverkusen tonight will be the most likely club to win the tournament once they are able to scale through their tonight’s German opponent.