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Manchester United are missing ‘strong characters’, says Edwin van der Sar

Van der Sar has been linked with the director of football role at United (Picture: Getty)

Edwin van der Sar believes Manchester United are missing ‘strong characters’ amid speculation Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing the sack.

United’s latest defeat to Newcastle has increased pressure on Solskjaer and the Norweigen appears to be struggling to impose his vision on an under-performing squad.

Solskjaer spent big during the summer bringing in the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, but Van der Sar bemoaned the lack of leaders at Old Trafford.

‘I think for ourselves, when I came in the dressing room we had Ryan Giggs, you had [Paul] Scholes, you had [Rio] Ferdinand, [Gary] Neville and even Roy Keane at that time,’ Van der Sar told ESPN.

Solskjaer is facing a crisis at United (Picture: Rex Features)

‘I think there’s always been strong characters. And I think for the last couple of years the strong characters have disappeared and [are] not making a difference anymore.’

Van der Sar won four Premier League titles with United and has been linked with the vacant director of football role at the club in recent months.

Although he has refused to be drawn into speculation about an imminent return to his former club, Van der Sar questioned whether big players would still be attracted to playing for United.

‘Of course, the name [of Manchester United] is there. And of course the following they have all over the world,’ he explained.

‘But for a player…you want to play at a certain level, you also want to have an idea that you can win trophies and they must take that opportunity also to improve the squad and make the world-class players they have, or the players that they’re going to sign, that they feel welcome and that there’s a good path to where they’re going to go to.’




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