Man Utd: Solskjaer delighted to kick off 2021 with win
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly believes he can ‘change 20 per cent of the team’ every season as he continues his rebuilding job at Old Trafford. Solskjaer has been in charge at United since December 2018, after being initially appointed as caretaker manager after Jose Mourinho was sacked.
During his stint so far, Solskjaer has made eight permanent additions, signing Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani and Facundo Pellistri.
However, the vast majority of his squad is made up of players signed by previous managers and there are a number who are surplus to requirements.
The likes of Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have been moved on after being deemed surplus to requirements by Solskjaer but transforming the squad is a slow process.
Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard are among the players who could also leave the club, with all three yet to play in the Premier League this season.
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According to a report from the Athletic, Solskjaer thinks he is able to improve the squad by 20 per cent in the transfer market each season with incomings and outgoings.
The club has made good progress in that regard, with the squad in a healthier position than it was when Solskjaer took over.
However, it is claimed that Solskjaer is adamant he needs ‘two or three top players’ if United are to challenge for trophies on a regular basis.
They are in the midst of a title race this season, with the club currently second in the table and behind Liverpool on goal difference alone.
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Solskjaer has refused to get carried away with talk of a title challenge but, after United’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, he conceded that they are ‘one step further’ to being in the title race.
“I am very happy with the position we find ourselves in,” he admitted after the game.
“I think the league is going to be so tight. Every time you win a game, you take it one step further.
“You can lose the chance to be in the title race in the first 10 games. So this is a good position to be in.
“If you can win games like tonight, it will make a big difference.
“Of course we are happy with what we are doing. It is such a big difference to 12 months ago.
“We have improved immensely. We are getting fitter and fitter and stronger and stronger.
“We should not get too carried away. It is not a cup final yet. But these points are important.”
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