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The 28-year-old has only started one game for the club this season and has struggled to even get a place on the bench for the majority of fixtures

Jesse Lingard has not been playing for Manchester United after having to self-isolate “a few times” due to coronavirus, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

The 28-year-old has only played 99 minutes of football this season having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford and has not featured in a Premier League matchday squad since the start of October, where he was an unused substitute in the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham.

A potential loan deal away is being explored ahead of the January transfer window amid the England international’s struggles for time but, Solskjaer says he will be involved against Everton for Wednesday’s League Cup clash and has explained the reasoning behind his absence.

“Jesse will be in the squad, yeah,” Solskjaer said. “He’s been working hard in training. He’s been unfortunate with having to isolate a few times, been in contact, or close contact with Covid, not even having it himself.

“He’s been very unlucky being away from the training ground a few times. He works really hard and he’ll be involved in the squad, definitely, on Wednesday.”

Another player who could be involved is Mason Greenwood. The teenager was an unused substitute in the 6-2 win against Leeds on Sunday but could make a return to the starting XI at Goodison Park.

“Mason’s fit enough to play, he was on the bench (against Leeds),” Solskjaer said about Greenwood’s role on Sunday.

“Of course, Luke (Shaw) came off with an injury so that had to be done, Edinson (Cavani) has been out with an injury for a while, we need to get him going and Bruno (Fernandes) is one that I also have to protect.

“It just wasn’t to be for Mason to come on today and he will be involved in the squad unless something happens in the next couple of days.”

The quarter-final clash is another chance for United to get a step closer to winning their first trophy under Solskjaer. They fell at the semi-final stage three times last season and Solskjaer believes winning a first trophy could be the catalyst for future success and instil a winning mentality within his team.

“Of course it (winning a trophy) is something we’re aiming for. We want to improve every season and to improve on last year is to get to the final and, of course, when you get to the final there’s only one thing that matters and that’s to lift the trophy,” Solskjaer said.

“I remember myself winning my first trophy. Even towards the end of my career, I think it was Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic’s first trophy in the Carling Cup, 2006 was it?

“I think that was their first trophy and it does give something to a team. We are desperate to get our hands on a trophy, these players are desperate to learn how to win.”

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December 22, 2020
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