Should Solskjaer hold an Old Trafford yard sale this summer?
Background image: Alyson Redding, CC By 2.0
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial dream is now a reality. Oddly, the Manchester United board waited until he lost consecutive matches before making the appointment official. The first match after the international break turned into a grind as well. Watford dictated play over the first half but failed to take their chances. United struck against the run of play, took their chances and ground out a 2-1 victory. Suddenly, Louis van Gaal's counterattacking remarks didn't seem so outlandish. Regardless, Solskjaer delivered the Red Devils into the thick of the race for a Champions League place. In addition, he can now plan for his first full season in charge. To keep the dream from becoming a nightmare, he must lose the encumbrances that held back his predecessors.
On the one hand, that means pursuing the free-flowing, expressive tactics that drove his incredible run as caretaker manager. On the other, it also means parting ways with some of the players who helped him become the full-time boss. The Norwegian persistently applauds his world-class talents but, as a whole, his squad is anything but. Ed Woodward spent hundreds of millions seeking to recreate Sir Alex's glory days. Those days are gone, though, and several of the wishful signings should be as well.
Too many players add nothing to United’s game. Liabilities whenever they play, they keep the squad from taking the next step towards a Premier League title. It's time for the baby-face to reveal the assassin within. Multiple players need to be moved. In his most recent press conference, Solskjaer iterated there’s no place for complacency at United for players or himself. The Norwegian needs to back up his words. He must emulate Pep Guardiola by pruning out the deadwood and bringing in players who can do the job.
Here's a look at four players who need to go:
note: all player valuations from transfermarkt.com