PLENTY TO DO
The former United striker has landed the manager’s job on a permanent basis after winning 14 of his 19 games while in caretaker charge
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as Manchester United’s new permanent manager on a three-year contract.
The former United striker won 14 of his 19 games while in interim charge, convincing the Old Trafford hierarchy he was the right man to succeed Jose Mourinho.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has landed the Manchester United job on a permanent basis The 46-year-old undoubtedly has a huge task ahead of him, with United still some way off re-establishing themselves as serious title contenders.
Below are five pressing things the Norwegian will need to address over the coming months.
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Stick or twist with Sanchez?
Alexis Sanchez has been a major flop at Old Trafford since becoming the club’s highest-paid player in January 2018 upon his transfer from Arsenal.
The performance levels of every other United player have soared under Solskjaer, who has admitted only Sanchez himself holds the answer to his struggles.
Alexis Sanchez has been a huge disappointment at Old Trafford Two goals in 23 appearances this season is a pitiful return for a striker on a reported annual salary of £14million.
If Solskjaer can work his magic on the player, he would have one of the world’s best at his disposal… but if not, he must move him on.
The latter looks more likely at this stage.
De Gea future a Real priority
David de Gea’s contract with United expires in the summer of 2020, with his representatives are currently locked in talks with the club over a possible new deal.
It has been reported that the goalkeeper wants to increase his £200,000-a-week wages to £500,000 to stay in the Premier League and Real Madrid would surely meet his demands.
David de Gea remains a huge asset to Manchester United Solskjaer must do all he can to keep De Gea by persuading him and the United hierarchy that the future of one of the world’s best stoppers lies at Old Trafford.
Losing him would be a catastrophe and a huge set back to Solsjkaer’s long-term plans.
Keep showing Pogba the love he needs
Paul Pogba is another prized asset that Solskjaer must keep happy.
The enigmatic France international is a proven game-changer and has thrived under the Norwegian and his assistant Mike Phelan, after a miserable time under former boss Mourinho.
Paul Pogba is loving life working under Solskjaer Give Pogba his lead in a settled environment and in return he will produce world-class performances, but weigh him down with off-the-ball responsibilities and he will lose his glow.
Solskjaer must continue to keep him at the heart of the United family, show him the love and play him in a role he relishes – or another top European club will.
Time for a clear-out
Solskjaer’s permanent appointment could signal the departure of several fringe players, who have failed to establish themselves as first-team regulars under him.
The United boss will undoubtedly want to make room for new arrivals in the summer.
The likes of Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo may all be nearing the end of their Old Trafford careers.
Antonio Valencia looks set to leave United this summer Eric Bailly is another whose future could be in doubt, especially since Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both recently signed new contracts.
Recruit players made of the ‘right stuff’
Solskjaer’s quest to reinstate the club as genuine Premier League title challengers would be given a massive boost with a couple of statement summer signings.
United fans have for years debated that only a player with certain characteristics can become a crowd favourite at Old Trafford, while the feel-good factor generated by such a signing can never be underestimated.
Sanchez’s ill-fated spell at the club has cranked up the pressure, so Solskjaer and his backroom team have to get their recruitment right.
Solskjaer, along with Mike Phelan and Michael Carrick, have brought the feel-good factor back to Old Trafford