Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he is ready to make a significant change to his defense ahead of their Premier League game against Brighton on Saturday.
The Norwegian manager watched on helplessly last weekend as the Red devils were humbled at home by Crystal Palace who ran out convincing 3-1 winners.
Although Palace thoroughly deserved the three points, but the Eagles benefited from some poor defending with Victor Lindelof particularly culpable.
The Swedish defender was skinned by Wilfried Zaha for Palace’s first goal and was unfortunate to be penalised for the handball offence which led to the penalty which helped decide the contest.
With Eric Bailly now back in the team having recovered from injury, Solskjaer appears ready to put the defender back into immediate action at the expense of Victor Lindelof.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer said: ‘I think last season proved to us how we can defend at our best, last week wasn’t fantastic, we conceded sloppy goals but I think our defensive record from last season with Eric and Harry how good a partnership they were.
‘Eric is fit again, a big big plus and looking forward to seeing him develop and play more games. We’ve been waiting him to be fit and play more regularly.’
Asked if Smalling could play against West Brom, Solskjaer said: ‘Different things need to happen, then.
‘So let’s wait and see if there’s that change let’s see what happens if and when the transfer window closes and what happens to Chris.’
It wasn’t just United’s defence that let the side down last weekend with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both struggling to find the form which helped secure Champions League qualification last season.
Solskjaer added: ‘I wasn’t happy with the game against Palace, we weren’t ready, not ready to play at intensity we needed. The runs weren’t there.
‘After the restart in June and July we took big, big strides. Palace was a very disappointing one, but I am still confident. We need more imagination (than last week) that is for sure.’