25 Manchester United players attended the training camp in St Andrews this week after a number of international tournament participants returned from vacation.
United, however, was devoid of several high-profile figures. Dean Henderson is still suffering from Covid-19, Alex Telles is on crutches with an ankle injury, Marcus Rashford is out in the early months of the new season with shoulder surgery and Raphael Varane still has no medical care to complete his £ 43million Transfer.
Jadon Sancho is not expected to train with his new teammates until next week, while Amad and Eric Bailly miss the pre-season for Ivory Coast at the Olympics.
The inconsistent return dates of players who played at the European Championship and Copa America have created confusion as Edinson Cavani is still absent from the United squad almost five weeks after Uruguay’s quarter-final elimination.
Anthony Elanga was absent from Scotland due to a minor injury and it remains to be seen whether he will stay in the first-team squad beyond the transfer deadline or be loaned out.
Though the rookies have returned to the U23 roster after the first pre-season games, United’s roster still stands at a bloated 33-player.
Axel Tuanzebe is expected to be on loan for a season and Brandon Williams also intends to secure a loan deal, but United has not yet overseen a single senior sale. Phil Jones and Andreas Pereira are redundant while the future of Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Diogo Dalot is uncertain.
“We need a big squad,” said Solskjaer. “The start is important, the whole season is important, but you have to arrive fresh and with enough options in April and May.
“Some may be loaned out until Christmas, others for a season, but I don’t want to be too frivolous in any position.”
United’s preliminary roster at the start of the season:
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Dean Henderson, Tom Heaton, Lee Grant
Defense lawyers: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane (medically pending), Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Brandon Williams, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles
Midfielders: Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, James Garner, Andreas Pereira
Forwards: Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, Amad, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga
Injuries / complaints: Henderson (Covid-19 fatigue), Telles (ankle, failure until September), Rashford (shoulder, failure until October)