The Manchester United faithfuls have been left frustrated by their team and its inconsistent displays under the guidance of club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer had a fantastic start as a Manchester United manager in the middle of last season as he won 14 out of the 17 games managed by him in all competitions.
That record was as an interim manager and he has struggled to go close to it during his time as a permanent manager dating back to March 2019 when his appointment was confirmed.
Solskjaer has been very vocal about the rebuilding job at the club but not all the Manchester United fans are convinced about his ability to lead the Red Devils back to where they belong which is at the top of both English and European football.
Manchester United have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the English Premier League this season as it’s always difficult to determine the Manchester United team that will turn up for games.
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Solskjaer and his Manchester United players have already lost to bottom three teams like West Ham United and Watford in the Premier League, while they have beaten top four teams like Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City. In addition, Manchester United are the only team to take points off league leaders Liverpool in the league this season.
Let’s examine the three reasons behind their struggles this season:
1. Solskjaer Factor
The Manchester United manager has had to deal with a lot of injuries but that is not enough to mask the lack of ruthlessness on his part.
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was known for his ruthlessness during his time at Old Trafford and Solskjaer will need to tap from his well of ruthlessness to stay in his current job linger than expect.
2. Lack Of Midfield Quality
Frenchman Paul Pogba is the best midfielder at Manchester United without a shadow of doubt but he has been restricted to just eight games in all competitions this term and that has affected the midfield output at the club.
He’s expected back from injury later this month and fans would be hoping to see more quality/creativity from midfield when he returns in addition to the recent signing of world class midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
3. No Rashford, No Magic
Manchester United have been overreliant of Marcus Rashford who has scored 19 goals in all competitions. His recent injury has exposed how over-dependent they have been on his goals and attacking talent.
Bruno Fernandes Transfer Details Confirmed Including Jorge Mendes’ Fee
Manchester United made one of the most expensive signings of the January transfer window after they splashed the cash to recruit Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.
The details of the transfer has now been made public by CMVM, Portuguese Securities Market Commission, via Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
According to the media outlet, Manchester United have paid an initial fee of €55m (£46m) for the Portuguese international midfielder and that they could receive up to €25m (£21m) in add-ons.
Sporting Lisbon inserted a sell-on clause in the contract that makes them get 10% of his next transfer fee. Former club Sampdoria FC of Italy also benefitted from a similar arrangement as they collected part of his transfer fee to Manchester United.
It was also revealed that around €5.5million (£4.61m) was paid to intermediaries for the transfer to go ahead and this said money was split between super-agent Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute agency and PositionNumber.
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PositionNumber is the agency that represents Bruno Fernandes and managed by Miguel Pinho, who’s his brother-in-law.
In the end, Sporting Lisbon got €34.13m (£29m) from the Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United after all the other parties have collected their monies.
Bruno Fernandes has had a good start to his football career at Old Trafford and has already made three appearances across all competitions including two starts in the Premier League.
He made his Manchester United debut just two days after joining the Red Devils on January 30.
Bruno Fernandes played his first game in the red and white of Manchester United during the goalless draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He went on to provide an assist in his second game for the Red Devils during the 2-0 win at Chelsea in their league clash on Monday night.
Harry Maguire wrapped up the result for Manchester United in the second half after Anthony Martial had given his team the lead via a first-half header.
Why Jadon Sancho Is A Perfect Fit For Manchester United
Manchester United are one of the teams in the Premier League keen to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho who has been in devastating form for his team for the better part of the last two years.
Recent reports claimed that Manchester United are ready to spend more than £100m on the 19-year-old England international and he has shown that he has the quality to be the right fit for the Red Devils.
Jadon Sancho was on the books of city rivals Manchester City before he made the decision to leave the Premier League champions in search of regular first team opportunities.
The Three Lions of England winger signed for Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and that decision has been the right one for his career.
Sancho became the youngest player to scored 25 league goals in the German Bundesliga earlier this season. He has scored 13 goals and added 13 assists in 20 league matches.
He has been able to form a potent partnership with new Borussia Dortmund signing Erling Haaland. Both players showed their potent partnership during the Champions League last 16 first leg clash at home to French champions Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
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Borussia Dortmund beat PSG 2-1 to hold a slender advantage ahead of the second leg billed for next month with Erling Haaland netting twice.
Jadon Sancho is a perfect fit for Manchester United in the following ways:
Jadon Sancho is a step up in quality in comparison to the wingers at Manchester United at the moment. The Englishman has more quality than the Manchester United options like Daniel James, Juan Manuel Mata etc.
Goals and Assists
Jadon Sancho will add more goals and assists to the Manchester United attack. He has scored 16 goals in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season in addition to providing 14 goals to the other Borussia Dortmund players.
EPL: Top Four Players To Replace Paul Pogba Next Season
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will almost likely leave the club ahead of next season and the Red Devils have already started the hunt for a replacement for him.
Pogba has one year to go on contract at Old Trafford though Manchester United have the option of activating the extra year clause in that contract to take him till the end of the 2021/22 season.
His agent Mino Raiola has already talked up his exit from Manchester United with the likes of Real Madrid and former club Juventus interested in him.
Paul Pogba was a big target for Real Madrid and manager Zinedine Zidane last summer but club bosses led by president Florentino Perez deemed him to be too expensive.
Real Madrid and other interested clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) can sign him for £100m this summer.
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Here are viable transfer options to replace Pogba this summer:
The Lille midfielder was a serious target for Manchester United and Chelsea in January but he opted to stay at his French club until this summer at least. He has been a regular in the Lille lineup this season.
The English midfielder has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and he has been the catalyst for Aston Villa as they aim to avoid relegation to the English Championship in their first season back in the top flight. The former champions are one point and one place better than West Ham United who occupy the last relegation spot.
The England international is one of the top targets for Manchester United ahead of this summer. He has scored nine goals for Leicester City this season.
The West Ham United star is one of the young English midfielders on the radar of Manchester United.
EPL: Top Three Favourites For 4th Place Revealed
The Premier League title race is all but over with leaders Liverpool way above every other team in the league. The Reds have 25 points more than nearest challengers Manchester City and it’s just a matter of time before the league title is officially confirmed.
With the league title race almost over, the most intriguing race in the Premier League this season is the battle for fourth place. Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City are almost confirmed for the top three spots.
Seven teams are in the frame for just one Champions League spot with 11 games left to play though the slot could increase to two slots with the European ban on Manchester City.
The Citizens have appealed against the ban from European football for two seasons as imposed on them by UEFA. With one or two Champions League spots available, here are the top three favourites for next season’s Champions League:
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1. Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho made a bright start to his managerial career at Spurs upon his appointment in November before a below par festive period set his team back a little bit but things have improved in the past few games. Spurs have won their last three matches in the Premier League ahead of the crucial London Derby clash with hosts Chelsea this weekend. Mourinho and his players are in fifth spot and just one point from fifth-placed Chelsea.
The former Premier League champions are in pole position for a top-four spot but their form has not been good. Chelsea are without a win in the last four league games ahead of the next game at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
3. Manchester United
The Red Devils are firmly back in the race after the win over Chelsea on Monday night. Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scored either side of the halftime interval to give Manchester United a 2-0 away victory over the Blues.
Why A Fit Paul Pogba Is Crucial For Manchester United
Manchester United gave themselves a fighting chance in the top-four race after the big win over Chelsea in their second League meeting of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were 2-0 winners at the home of Chelsea who are at the forefront of the race to finish as the fourth best team in the English top flight.
League leaders Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City are far ahead in the race for Champions League football next season thus leaving the other teams to fight for just a slot. It must be pointed out that Manchester City could open up one more slot after the Citizens were slapped with a European ban for two seasons for allegedly breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
The fifth-place team in the league will qualify for the Champions League next season if Manchester City lose their appeal against that ruling.
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For now, the target for Manchester United and other teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Sheffield United etc is fourth place and the Red Devils boosted their push for that spot via the away win over Chelsea.
The win over Chelsea took Manchester United to within three points of their opponents with 11 games left to play. Manchester United have put themselves in a fantastic position to meet their target and the return of star player Paul Pogba could help in the following ways:
Paul Pogba has barely played for Manchester United this season but the Frenchman is still the best player at the club despite the recent arrival of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January. He’s still the best creative force at the club when everyone is fit.
Paul Pogba’s absence has coincided with a lack of goals from the Manchester United midfield and his return is expected to guarantee goals in the middle of the park.
Manchester United Transfer Plans For Paul Pogba Revealed
Manchester United have mapped out their transfer strategy for star player Paul Pogba ahead of the next transfer window later this year.
Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United is far from clear as he edges closer to the end of his present contract with the Premier League outfit.
The Frenchman has one year remaining on his Manchester United contract plus an additional year at the discretion of the club.
According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester United have concluded plans to sell Paul Pogba when the transfer window reopens in the summer.
It was revealed that the Red Devils have slammed a transfer fee of £100m on him as they want to raise money from his sale to spend on new players ahead of next season.
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Manchester United have eyes on a lot of young English talents and the funds from the transfer of Paul Pogba will come in handy to get their targets.
Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is a major transfer target for the Red Devils though they face a big battle to sign him with rivals Chelsea also interested.
Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish and Leicester City star James Maddison are serious targets for Manchester United.
Young Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham is also attracting the interest of Manchester United.
Pogba has been injured for several month this season and that has prompted him to make just seven appearances in the Premier League since the current season started.
In total, the Frenchman has featured for eight games in all competitions.
He has a lot of suitors as confirmed by his agent Mino Raiola who has been a thorn in the flesh of Manchester United fans.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has warned the club to stay away from Mino Raiola in the future after their struggles with him.
Liverpool Leading Man Utd In 21-year-old Midfielder Pursuit
Premier League table toppers Liverpool have stepped up their interest in one of the best young players in the top flight of English football.
Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell has been a revelation for the Canaries in the league this season and Liverpool are keen to sign him when the summer transfer window reopens later this year.
Liverpool are not the only Premier League team interested in the 21-year-old English midfielder.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are all keen on Todd Cantwell according to The Athletic.
Liverpool have been in sparkling form in the Premier League this season but that has not stopped plans for new players ahead of next season. The Reds have already signed one player this year.
Japanese international Takumi Minamino signed for Liverpool on the first day of this year following his transfer from Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga.
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Liverpool paid his £7.25m release clause to secure his signing from the Europa League campaigners.
Takumi Minamino was an obvious absentee at the weekend during the Premier League clash at Norwich City. He was omitted for tactical reasons.
Todd Cantwell impressed a great deal for Norwich City during that game but it was not enough as his team lost narrowly to Liverpool who are miles ahead of all the other teams in the league.
Sadio Mane came off the bench to score the only goal of the game in the second half of the game.
The Senegalese international star had missed the last two games because of a muscle injury.
Apart from Todd Cantwell, Liverpool have also been linked with a move for players like RB Leipzig attacker Timo Werner and the Norwich City teammate of Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons.
Liverpool have 25 more points than their nearest challengers Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Does Solskjaer Wants Permanent Transfer For Odion Ighalo Now?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Odion Jude Ighalo could join Manchester United permanently at the end of his loan spell at the club.
Ighalo raised eyebrows in the footballing world after he signed for the Red Devils on loan on the final day of last month’s transfer window.
The 30-year-old Nigerian striker joined Manchester United on a short-term loan until this summer.
The former Watford striker was at Chinese Super League outfit Shanghai Shenshua before his loan move to Manchester United was approved last month.
On Ighalo and a possible transfer to Manchester United permanently in the summer when his short-term loan spell ends, Solskajer revealed that the player will be rewarded with a long-term deal if he impresses between now and the summer.
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Solskjaer talked about Ighalo as he gets set to take his team to London to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Odion Ighalo is not likely to start the Chelsea game but he’s in line to make his debut for the club he has been supporting in his native Nigeria since he was a boy.
Due to the precautionary measures taken for the dreaded Coronavirus prevalent in China, Odion Ighalo was unable to travel with the rest of the Manchester United squad to Spain where they had their winter break.
Fellow new signing Bruno Fernandes will make the Manchester United starting lineup for the Chelsea having already bonded with the rest of the team. He had earlier made his debut in the last game vs Wolves at the start of this month.
Manchester United have failed to score in their three games in the Premier League and this barren run coincided with the injury to Marcus Rashford.
England international Rashford has three goals in two games against Chelsea this season and he has 19 goals in total.