Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed in Friday’s press conference that Marouane Fellaini would be out for ‘three to four weeks’ with a calf injury.
The Belgian, a favourite under Jose Mourinho, has not started a game since Solskjaer assumed the caretaker manager role, playing a total of 31 minutes off the bench in two games.
He faces an uphill struggle to usurp the currently indomitable midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.
Speaking at Carrington on Friday morning ahead of Manchester United’s meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion, the Norwegian noted Fellaini would be out for up to a month with an injury.
The injury to Fellaini, Sokskjaer noted, would preclude Scott McTominay for moving away on loan this month. He had been linked with a short-term deal at Celtic.
That both Fellaini and McTominay are the two players most likely to leave – at least in the media’s eye – says plenty about the change of tone struck under Solskjaer. The pair became symbols for the orthodoxy of Mourinho.
However, suggestions that Solskjaer doesn’t rate Fellaini are misguided. He knows his best midfield, which performed superbly at Wembley last weekend, but is nevertheless aware of the unique dynamic Fellaini can bring to any game.