Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United want a “complete midfielder”.
The United boss was asked in his press conference ahead of their trip to West Ham on Sunday what he wants from his midfielders in a wider question about his philosophy.
The Red Devils added Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their squad in a positive window, but many still question the strength of their midfield.
But Solskjaer believes that sometimes the “intricacies” of football are focused on too much, while namechecking “proper midfielders” of the past.
He said: “I’m not here to explain every single detail of how I want my team to play. We want a central midfielder who can play.
“Today’s football is about he’s a good 6, 8, 10. Back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Brian Robson.
“You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.
“It’s a balance between with how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.
“Overarching philosophy… I don’t sit here and claim and talk… football is a simple game and it’s about making good decisions and being in a team.
“Sometimes we look too much into the all intricacies and it’s passion, it’s desire – who wants to win the ball? Which one of the strikers has the desire to get on the end of crosses?
“You can talk about all sorts, it looks nice on paper. But when you go out on that pitch, it’s who wants to win, that’s one of the big things. You want winners and I think I’m getting there with my team, team players.”
On the highs and lows of United’s form, Solskjaer added: “No, it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve got my job and we do our job, you tend to in the media get judged by behaviours and outcomes rather than intentions. It’s black and white.
“But we go into the game with good intentions, we make changes with good intentions, go into a tackle and make a pass with good intentions.
“The outcome always decides which headline we’ll see and very very rarely is the game fantastic or really really bad, it just hovers about good or not good enough.
“We know the expectations are high and we expect more of ourselves as well, the performance wasn’t up to our standard.”