New Manchester United signing Harry Maguire and the recently injured Paul Pogba are set to start Sunday’s Premier League opener against Chelsea, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.
Maguire joined United on Monday for a reported £80 million ($97m) from Leicester City following a drawn-out transfer saga.
His signing was made all the more necessary by a serious knee injury suffered by Eric Bailly at the end of July, ruling him out for up to five months.
Meanwhile, Pogba’s future has remained somewhat uncertain throughout the close season, with speculation suggesting he missed Saturday’s friendly against AC Milan in an attempt to force through a move away from Old Trafford, rather than the “back spasm” Solskjaer said he was suffering from.
Nevertheless, Pogba is fit again and likely to start against Chelsea, with Maguire in line to make his first competitive appearance for the Red Devils.
Ole on @PaulPogba: "He's been great. I keep saying the same thing when I'm asked about Paul. When he comes in, when he plays, when he trains; he's absolutely fantastic." #MUFC pic.twitter.com/a78ikPxEtp
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 9, 2019
Speaking to MUTV, Solskjaer said: “Harry has impressed me, very much so. He has come in as a presence.
“He is taller and bigger than I thought. He has come in as a real plus. He will have an impact on the rest of the boys.
“Harry is ready to play. I am sure he will put himself up, when I ask him on Sunday, if he is available, because he has played many games for Leicester over the pre-season. He has trained well and he has looked sharp when he has been here.
“Paul joined in, actually, the day after [the Milan friendly]. I wasn’t going to risk him, travelling down with the flight, but he joined in the game against Blackburn the day after, behind closed doors here.
“He is available. All of the boys are fit. It was always our aim to get to the starting line with as many players as fit as possible. Of course, Eric’s injury is bad news, but the rest of them are available.”
United won all six of their pre-season matches over the summer, restoring the feel-good factor around the club after a dismal end to the 2018-19 campaign.
In addition to Maguire, Welsh winger Daniel James and English defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka also arrived at Old Trafford, from Swansea and Crystal Palace respectively.
A number of other top European stars were linked with moves to Manchester, but United’s only activity on Thursday’s transfer deadline day was to offload Romelu Lukaku, who joined Inter Milan for £73 million ($88m).