Manchester United future positive for Solskjaer
Few would argue that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's signings as Manchester United boss have not been a success and there is promise of more to come.
United were arguably the form team in the Premier League when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic brought the season to a halt, with the Red Devils enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions which included two victories (of three this campaign) over Manchester City.
Both of those successes over Pep Guardiola’s side came with clean sheets, with another seven in the current streak, with United going strong in both the FA Cup and Europa League while also moving to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea – a team they have beaten home and away this season by an aggregate of 6-0 while also dumping Frank Lampard’s side out of the FA Cup.
There were certainly reasons to be optimistic for United fans, not just for this season but the future as well, and there is no doubt that recent arrivals have played a very significant part.
Defensive signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who arrived along with winger Daniel James in the summer were hardly at fault for a slow, inconsistent start from United, but the January captures of Odion Ighalo and particularly Bruno Fernandes seem to have completed a short-term jigsaw, with Solskjaer’s men now scoring goals, with a fair degree of solidity at the back.
The future of the Norwegian in the Old Trafford dug-out has come under constant scrutiny since he took charge, but he has taken it all in his stride and fans are now starting to see the fruits of his labour on the pitch.
And then disaster strikes……
Not just for United or football, but on a global scale with little indication on when anything will get back to anything like normality.
This of course has led to a multitude of problems with many footballing issues still to be sorted out – titles, European places, relegation etc, as well as plenty of financial implications going forward – Liverpool, the seventh-richest football club, recently did a U-turn on plans to utilise the government’s furlough scheme as clubs come to terms with how to deal with the massive loss of revenue that no football brings.
There is no doubt that United are still on a rebuild as they look to get back to the top of the footballing tree, both domestically and in Europe, and how these problems will affect Solskjaer and his plans to bring in further reinforcements remains up in the air.
However, the United boss is confident that, financially at least, United will still hit like the big boys when the time comes.
“I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
Of course, the speculation regarding United and potential signings never seems to abate but Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham are widely regarded as top targets, both fitting into Solskjaer’s desired profile for his squad, and seemingly money may well not be the issue to their arrivals.
United are not alone in their interest though and these are not the only names linked with an Old Trafford move, while there are still things to be sorted out closer to home – the future of Paul Pogba for one. Does he have a future under Solskjaer? Can United get anything like the fee they want for the World Cup winner?
There is plenty still for Solskjaer to do to make it his Theatre of Dreams but, like most things it appears, he is positive that he, and United, are on the right path.