Solskjaer has never been reluctant to hand young prospects their first taste of first-team football, giving Anthony Elanga, Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri their debuts last season while also providing each of them with a three-year contract extension.
United chief Woodward has claimed that though last season ended without any precious silverware, it remained a “strong campaign”, he took to the pre-match programme for today’s fixture with Leeds United to address supporters.
“There is always a sense of anticipation ahead of the opening Premier League game of the season,” Woodward wrote. “But today will be even more special than usual with a full house cheering on the team for the first time in 17 months.
“The experience of playing football behind closed doors has reminded everyone of the importance of fans to the game and I’m sure the atmosphere at Old Trafford for the visit of Leeds United this afternoon will show us what we have been missing.”
Woodward continued, highlighting how the recent contract extension awarded to Solskjaer is a testament to how much faith the United hierarchy have in the Norwegian.
“I hope that you share the excitement I feel about the season ahead, as we look to build on our strong campaign last term. The new contract awarded to Ole reflects our firm belief that we’re on the right track under his leadership.
“Our objective at Manchester United is always to be competing for the most important trophies with an entertaining, hard-working team comprised of top-class recruits build on a foundation of the best homegrown talent.
“With the continued development of arguably our strongest crop of young players for many years, we feel closer than ever to the vision that Ole has set out to achieve.”
Woodward went on to discuss the work that has gone in to rectify off-field issues, including developments to the stadium and improving relations with the fanbase.