When the Norwegian got closer to Scott McTominay and Fred, he gave them pats on the back. That gesture, though not extraordinary, was a demonstration of the manager’s satisfaction with the duo’s displays.
Since McTominay and Fred began starting games together, Manchester United has found a renewed solidity in midfield and at the back. The pair came into the picture after the Red Devils' humiliating 6-1 defeat against Tottenham.
However, their presence has helped make the team's defence more stable. They may not be the most talented midfielders in the Manchester United team, but they are both hard workers, who give 100% in every game they play.
That is why Solskjaer singled the duo out for praise following Manchester United's victory over Everton on Saturday. Despite Bruno Fernandes scoring twice and setting up the third goal, the Norwegian described Fred and McTominay as the 'engine room' of his team.
"Scott and Fred have done brilliantly together,” the Manchester United boss said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“They're a great partnership. Of course, they didn't start during the week. Scott played 45 minutes in Turkey but you can see they have fresh legs."
"With Bruno [Fernandes]'s goals, Scott and Fred with that energy in that engine room, our creative players can create chances and show their magic. They're so disciplined and I'm very pleased with the two of them," concluded Solskjaer.
Some fans and pundits have complained about Solskjaer’s continuous benching of Paul Pogba and Donny Van de Beek in the last few weeks.
While the aforementioned players are more talented and skilled, it is Fred and McTominay who give the team the balance it needs. That is why Pogba and Van de Beek are struggling to displace the duo in Manchester United's starting line-up.
Fred’s game has improved so much over the last two years and his ability to intercept and break up play is just unreal. McTominay, on the other hand, makes the Red Devils compact and is a very good tackler.
The importance of these two players is always highlighted when Manchester United is out of possession. Their positioning and shielding of the defence offer the team exactly what it needs when under attack.
It’s always a sad sight when Pogba and Van de Beek are sat on the bench because both players are extremely likeable. However, the honest truth is that Fred and McTominay have earned the right not to be dropped from Solskjaer’s team with their consistent performances.Published 11 Nov 2020, 13:51 IST