Manchester United gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning on having Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo as one of his super-subs when the EPL kicks off next week.
Boosted by the new rule allowing clubs to use five subs when the season restarts next week – up from two – to help cope with the demands of a hectic fixture list, a super-sub himself in his playing days, Solskjaer is also looking the way of Mason Greenwood to serve in this role alongside the AFCON top scorer.
Ighalo and Greenwood may well become United’s latest super subs, with their manager now having real game-changers to call from the bench arguably for the first time since he took up the job.
“We’ve had time out so I don’t think we can expect that those lads who’ve missed lots of the football can last the full game,” said Solskjaer. “But now the rules have changed, we can use five subs and have nine on the bench.
“I think that’s helpful because footballers, after being out for so long, going into competitive games will be a challenge for them and we have to look after them injury-wise and fitness-wise.
“We can’t just flog one player and say to them, ‘you play every game and every minute’ because it might be a period when we have to rotate quite often.”
Solskjaer, who has so often been down to the bare bones this season, now has the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from – and has an embarrassment of riches in midfield.
United’s best form of the season, just before the coronavirus lockdown, came without the injured Pogba and Scott McTominay.
Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, and Fred played a huge part in some of United’s most fluid football as they strung together an 11-game unbeaten run.