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Solskjaer explains why some Manchester United players had more time off

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says individual circumstances dictated how much time off Manchester United’s internationals had during the summer.

Paul Pogba started pre-season training five weeks and a day after France were eliminated from the European Championship while Edinson Cavani, who was ejected from the Copa America with Uruguay six weeks ago, has still not been back at United’s training complex.

England internationals Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire reported for training a week before Jadon Sancho, even though the £72.9million signing played only 111 minutes during the Euros. Solskjaer clarified Sancho was unwell following his return from holiday.

Fred rendezvoused with the United squad at St Andrews last week after Brazil reached the Copa America final and Solskjaer admitted some players will not be at optimum fitness until the end of August, at the earliest.

“You know, it’s not about giving them extra time off,” Solskjaer explained. “It’s about giving them the time off they need to recover.

“Footballers nowadays play 60 or 70 games at a higher intensity level, more scrutiny on social media, they need to switch off, we have to look after players. We can’t just add games and add games and add games and say, ‘if you’re successful that means you have less time’.

“I always go for a minimum of three weeks [that] you need for a break to mentally switch off and physically recharge. Some have had four weeks, some have had five for different reasons, some for personal reasons. So they’ve had a shorter pre-season; Fred, Luke, Harry, Jadon because they went so far in the tournaments.

“Edinson (Cavani) was a different matter, that’s personal reasons. But we’re all, I wouldn’t say that we give them extra time off, we need a product, we need players to play well, we need them to be fresh.

“The world hasn’t been perfect, so it’s quarantine and isolation and it’s a difficult situation for them, but I’m sure we’ll reap the benefits when they really get going.

“Some of these players have only played 45 minutes, some have played a couple of games and normally you need four or five games after a long holiday but, say Fred, with three weeks off, that’s not a long holiday. So they’re all ready.”

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