Manchester United’s midfield options have been poor this season and have looked even worse in the absence of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay. Ahead of our game against Aston Villa this weekend, Solskjaer has given an update on the fitness of the midfield pair.

Paul is stepping up his recovery and let’s see how soon he’ll be match fit and available. Of course, he’ll be like a new signing for us. He’s not really been able to play for us and, when we get him back, it’ll be like a new world-class signing and world-class midfielder. We want him back as soon as possible. Sunday? No. I can’t say now as I’ve not been home and seen him. Let’s see where he’s at when he comes back and he starts training with us.

We hope Scotty will be back as soon as possible, but he’s also been back home and I’ve not seen him. Maybe [he will be fit to face] Spurs but hopefully for Sunday.

Speaking after our defeat against FC Astana, Solskjaer joked that Axel Tuanzebe may give the team talk on Sunday, given that he spent last season on loan against Villa. Following his composed display in the Europa League, and Phil Jones’ horror show against Sheffield United, Tuanzebe is hoping to make a PowerPlay for a place in United’s starting XI this season, climbing up in pecking order.

Axel can do the team talk for us! Axel has done fantastic and he’s played for 90 minutes, after five minutes or 10 minutes against Sheffield United as well. He’s fit now and available and, as you said, he did well today. He gives me another headache but it’s a good headache. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve suffered from injuries badly and now we’re getting more and more back that will only help us.

I think the performances of Brandon have been a big, big plus. And not just for him and me, but it’s also [encouraging] for Ethan Laird and you could see that against Astana. He’s played with Brandon through the years and for me it’s also a big boost for Ethan.

We’ve got many full-backs, we’ve got loads of them who compete, and I’ve been very pleased with Brandon. He scored a great goal [against Sheffield United]. Let’s see where we’re at but it’s great to have Luke play through 90 minutes today. Let’s see what we do for Sunday.