Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United beat Wayne Rooney's Derby 2-1 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday
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Wayne Rooney has warned his former team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he will be under pressure to deliver silverware for Manchester United in the new season.
The United legend managed his Derby County side against Solskjaer’s United in a pre-season friendly, which the Premier League giants won 2-1 at Pride Park on Sunday.
And with the new campaign less than four weeks away, Rooney believes his old club must win honours in the new campaign, especially given the recent £73 million investment in Jadon Sancho and with the promise of further signings to come.
“I think there will be a lot of pressure, which there should be with Manchester United,” said Rooney.
“Sancho coming in, they are rumoured with a few more players. They are in a period now where the fans will be wanting success, silverware, and Ole and his coaching staff will be under pressure to deliver that.
“(Manchester) City this year, Chelsea Champions League winners, Liverpool last year, there are some very good teams, but you can see with Manchester United they are getting gradually better.
“I think they will be in a place where they really will challenge next season.”
Rooney’s own pre-season preparations have been in stark contrast to United’s with Derby, who narrowly avoided relegation to League One at the end of last season, still in a dire financial position and seeking new owners.
"It’s a challenge, it’s not ideal, it’s something you’re constantly aware of,” he said. "You’re constantly trying to get answers, but I’m not getting what I want and what the club want.
"So I have to focus on the players, otherwise I’d be wasting my time on the other side of it.
"Something has to happen. It has to. For instance, if nothing changes, I haven’t got one centre back.
"I said at the end of the season, I will do my best for this club. This club has given me an opportunity to go into management, I’ll do all I can to get the team ready for this season…. but of course, I need help, I need that support – I believe it will come but I could do with it now.”
Rooney and Solskjaer played at United together for three years
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Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard has been assured by Solskjaer that his future lies with Manchester United, for the time being at least, after his impressive end to last season for West Ham and England.
The forward was allowed to join David Moyes’ side on loan in January where his stunning form caught the eye of Gareth Southgate who included him in his initial squad for this summer’s Euros.
It also led to West Ham attempting to make his signing permanent although, with United reportedly looking for a £30 million fee, they were quickly priced out of the market.
Now, after Lingard starred for United in their pre-season friendly win, Solskjaer insists that he forms part for his plans for the new campaign, which kicks off in less than four weeks against Leeds.
“Jesse has come back, been bright, he wants to fight for his place and there’s nothing better than seeing players want to fight for their place,” said Solskjaer.
“What he did towards the end of last season, that’s the true Jesse, that’s what we know he’s capable of.
“And I think we saw towards the end that we lacked some options at times and Jesse is in the plans at the moment, yeah.
“He came seven or eight days later than the rest but he’s a naturally fit boy. He’s a man, he played with a few boys but he’s one of the men.”
Lingard’s efforts at Pride Park were all the more noteworthy given he only returned to training with United at the end of last week and, with Marcus Rashford facing a spell on the sidelines, the “addition” of an in-form Lingard could be perfectly timed for Solskjaer.
The United manager refused to discuss the shoulder surgery that it is believed Rashford is scheduled to undergo at the end of the month but it is understood he could be out until October as he recovers from the long-standing problem.
Solskjaer’s squad will also be bolstered by the arrival of Jadon Sancho, with the manager confirming there is only minor “paperwork” to complete before that £73 million transfer is finalised