Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants James Garner and Scott McTominay to fill the void left by Ander Herrera’s summer exit.
The Red Devils allowed Herrera to complete a free transfer to Paris Saint Germain earlier this month, after failing to negotiate a contract extension for the midfield enforcer.
For Solskjaer to lose such an important player ahead of the 2018-19 campaign was a huge blow to his preparations, but United have made a bright start to their pre-season campaign, winning both games of their Australian tour.
The Norwegian watched his side beat Perth Glory 2-0 on Saturday before dispatching Leeds 4-0 four days later, with a number of academy stars standing out alongside new signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Garner scored against Perth and impressed generally in midfield in both matches, while one of last season’s top performers McTominay also stood out.
Speaking to reporters after the win over Leeds, Solskjaer revealed he could make a bold decision regarding further summer transfers, insisting that Garner and McTominay “can replace” Herrera.
“Jimmy is young, he’s very young — only 18 — so you can’t expect too much from him but you can see he is going to be a top player,” Solskjaer said, as per Metro Sport.
“Andy [Pereira] I expect a lot more from, Scotty [McTominay] I expect a lot more from. Those two between them had maybe 15, 20 starts last season.
“You expect them to have at least 20 each this year, maybe even more. That’s maybe two players into one that can replace Ander [Herrera].”
Garner made one Premier League appearance for the Red Devils last season, but big things are expected of the teenager as he matures and develops his all-around game.
McTominay, meanwhile, has already proved he has the determination and hunger to succeed, combined with the character to keep his head down and perform even in the most difficult of moments.
Herrera was certainly an invaluable part of United’s set-up in recent years, but Solskjaer is right not panic buy with two natural alternatives already within his ranks and it will be interesting to see how both players progress next season.