Man Utd transfer target Michael Olise may have had hopes of move ruined | Football | Sport

Michael Olise’s hopes of joining boyhood club Manchester United have been put at fresh risk after he suffered a third hamstring injury of the season. After coming on at half-time, the Crystal Palace forward lasted just 11 minutes of the 4-1 defeat away at rivals Brighton over the weekend before breaking down after suffering a new problem.

Palace were already 3-0 down and Olise had been a doubt to feature after complaining of discomfort following the midweek win over Sheffield United. But Roy Hodgson brought him on regardless and was met with “you don’t know what you’re doing” chants from the away end after Olise pulled up and went down the tunnel.

Hodgson explained post-match: “I was told that he couldn’t start the game. They told me – and he told me – that he was fine to be on the bench and to play in the second half. Unfortunately I wasn’t to know that was going to lead to a recurrence of his injury.”

But Olise now faces a minimum of two months on the sidelines due to his latest hamstring injury, which is in a slightly different part of the muscle. The France under-21 international had already been out from June to November with a hamstring problem before suffering another issue in January in a different area of the muscle.

The right-sided forward has been identified as a player who can help improve the Red Devils’ attack, per the Evening Standard. Erik ten Hag’s £85million signing Antony has floundered on the right wing and Olise would seemingly join with the view to displacing the Brazilian out wide.

But whether United still firm up their interest after Olise’s injury-hit season remains to be seen. They will certainly be concerned about the severity of his hamstring problems.

The Frenchman previously had a release clause in his contract worth £35million. Chelsea activated that clause last summer only for the forward to sign a new four-year contract to stay at Selhurst Park instead.

And the fee it will take to sign Olise now is thought to be nearer double that figure. United will therefore need to think carefully before investing so heavily in the 22-year-old, who would prefer to move to Old Trafford than Stamford Bridge despite Chelsea’s continued interest.

Olise was at Chelsea from the age of seven to 14 but the London-born player is a boyhood United fan. Despite playing just 11 times this season, he has returned six goals and three assists in the Premier League. No other Eagles player has more direct goal contributions this term.

Yet with Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial expected to leave, Antony’s future uncertain and Mason Greenwood potentially being sold, United need players they can count upon. On the pitch, Olise can be just that player. The problem is making sure he’s on the pitch regularly enough to make that impact.

United may decide that this is ultimately just one of them seasons for the winger, and that his injuries are not any long-term issue. But Ten Hag and co. need to be absolutely sure given how several of their signings under the Dutchman have ultimately backfired.

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