Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solkjaer says the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo has built the resilience of the team during the second half of this season.

United bought both players in January with Fernandes arriving from Sporting Lisbon for  £47m while Ighalo was acquired on loan from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua.

The pair have settled well at Old Trafford, with Fernandes notching nine goals and seven assists from 18 appearances across all competitions, while Ighalo has scored five goals in four starts for the side.

Speaking ahead of United’s Premier League encounter against West Ham on Wednesday, Solskjaer said the addition of the duo and the return to fitness of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford has been instrumental to the team’s chase for Champions League qualification.

“I think we’ve grown over the whole season,”

“The additions of Odion, Bruno, and Paul coming back, (plus) Marcus coming back is a strength for us. We are better as a group and more robust and resilient.”

“The proof is in the pudding and we’ll have to see on Wednesday how they perform.”

United will qualify for the Champions League provided they remain unbeaten in their final two games of the season – against West Ham today and their final tie against Leicester City on Sunday.

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