Solskjaer warns Lingard, Rashford to concentrate on their football

United boss determined to get the best out of the attacking duo

In Summary

• Solskjaer is worried the pair may become sidetracked with outside ventures.

• It comes after Lingard launched his fashion label Be Yourself last Christmas.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their third goal with Jesse Lingard
Manchester United's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their third goal with Jesse Lingard

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly told Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to concentrate on their football.

The Manchester United manager is understood to have had separate discussions with the attacking duo, who are close friends off the Old Trafford pitch.

According to The Sun, Solskjaer is worried Lingard may have become sidetracked with business ventures unrelated to football which could be affecting his performances on the pitch for United.

It comes after Lingard launched his own fashion label Be Yourself last Christmas, which also forms a part of his ‘JLINGZ’ brand, which sells aftershave, clothing and phone cases.

The report also suggests that Solskjaer is concerned that Rashford could be distracted too and wants the pair to focus on becoming better players.

Lingard launched his clothing line a week before United travelled to face Liverpool at Anfield, which ultimately ended up being Jose Mourinho’s last game in charge of the Red Devils as they fell to a 3-1 defeat. Former Reds skipper Roy Keane questioned the decision to launch the clothing range before such an important game.

He said: “If there was a good strong dressing room that wouldn’t be tolerated. That’s why I worry about the United dressing room. That wouldn’t be tolerated in a good dressing room from a young player, who’s still learning his trade. Again, he could be the nicest kid in the world, I don’t know the lad, but if you’re coming out with all that nonsense...”

Keane’s former team-mate Gary Neville also stressed the importance of the game and Lingard’s decision-making behind the timing of the launch.

Neville said: “I’ve got no problem with him launching a clothes range. But before Liverpool away — the biggest match of the season — don’t launch a clothes brand. Not this week. Concentrate on Liverpool, no distractions, no disruptions.”

It’s not the first time Solskjaer has had to speak to Lingard over his conduct. The England international was warned over the pitfalls of social media after he posted a crude video while on holiday in Miami earlier this summer.

Solskjaer gave the 26-year-old a clean slate on their pre-season tour but admitted he was looking for more from the midfielder who rose through the United academy.

“Jesse has proved before with his big-game goals that he’s valuable. But of course I’m going to demand more of him,” Solskjaer said in July. “I think he will be the first one to know that his last season was not up to standard. What we have discussed can be between the two of us but I expect more from him and he knows what I expect.”

Lingard is yet to provide an assist or score a goal in his four appearances this season for United while Rashford has fared better than his mate. Rashford scored the winning goal from the penalty spot against Leicester on Saturday taking his tally to three in five games. The England striker has also notched an assist in the same amount of appearances as Lingard.