Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United could turn to Laurent Blanc to take the reins on a temporary basis following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Frenchman has a good relationship with the Red Devils hierarchy and has been mooted as a potential short-term replacement. So Express Sport will now take a look at how United could line up using Blanc’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
Goalkeeper: De Gea
It’s been a really rough time for United’s backline of late.
But David De Gea has still emerged with some credit, with the Spaniard getting back to his best this term.
The numbers don’t entirely support that, with De Gea conceding far too many goals at present.
But the majority haven’t been his fault and his fine form means Dean Henderson will have to continue to wait in the wings.
Blanc would have very little reason to drop De Gea who, after being at the club for a decade, is a seasoned veteran within the dressing room.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw
Harry Maguire has been abysmal for United of late, with his red card against Watford summing up his season so far.
Therefore, under a new manager, it’s feasible he’d be dropped to the bench.
Raphael Varane, when fully fit, can expect to start almost all matches at Old Trafford.
And Victor Lindelof deserves to start more often. Alongside Varane, the Sweden international could be significantly improved.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw would then likely start in the full-back positions under Blanc, with Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles not up to scratch.
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Midfield: Fred, Van de Beek, Fernandes
United are resigned to losing Paul Pogba at the end of the season, when his contract expires.
But his loss could be Donny van de Beek’s gain.
Van de Beek never got much of a chance under Solskjaer. He didn’t even start a single match under the Norwegian in the Premier League this term.
Yet his recent showings are proof he’s deserving of more opportunities.
Van de Beek could slot alongside Fred, with Bruno Fernandes then playing further ahead.
Forwards: Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford
United’s front three is a difficult issue for whoever replaces Solskjaer.
The Red Devils have so many options but, under Blanc, the club could go with Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford on a regular basis.
Sancho has toiled since his arrival yet there’s clearly a talented player there whose confidence just needs rebuilding.
Rashford has impressed since returning from shoulder surgery, even if injuries continue to niggle away at him.
And, up top, surely no manager would have the courage to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.
Solskjaer’s sweet farewell
Solskjaer has spoken to MUTV since his exit, saying: “You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here.
“For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff.
“I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth.
“I don’t want to answer all… there’s going to be journalists asking me about interviews but no, I’m not going to do any interviews.
“I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club.
“This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside.”
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