Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is dealing with a vital summer season as he tries to raise Manchester United again to the highest of English soccer. The membership’s board has seen sufficient progress throughout Solskjaer’s two years as everlasting supervisor to contemplate providing the Norwegian a brand new contract however the time is quick approaching for him to ship actual success. In his personal phrases, which means successful the Premier League title for the primary time since 2013, or a minimum of getting a lot nearer to Manchester Metropolis than they’ve this season. Earlier than doing that, there are key selections for Solskjaer to make over the summer season, together with tips on how to deal with the switch window and what to do about Paul Pogba.
Soar to: Henderson or De Gea? | Lingard to get one other shot? | The place to spend cash? |
Determination 1: Pogba’s contract state of affairs
United’s largest resolution of the summer season will centre round Pogba, nevertheless it will not simply fall on Solskjaer. Pogba is ready to enter the ultimate 12 months of his contract at Previous Trafford, and if his agent, Mino Raiola, is correct, he will not signal a brand new one. In that case, United can both promote in the summertime or maintain out and danger shedding the 28-year-old without cost in 12 months.
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Homeowners the Glazers and govt vice-chairman Ed Woodward valued Pogba at greater than £150 million in 2019. Whereas that determine is considerably decrease now, there are doubts about how Actual Madrid or Juventus may afford a switch price and wages of greater than £290,000-a-week in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The third choice is for United to push laborious for Pogba to signal a brand new contract. Solskjaer hasn’t given up hope that that would nonetheless occur, however there are fears that Raiola’s phrases — a big wage improve or perhaps a launch clause — might be too huge a stumbling block. Solskjaer deserves credit score for his man-management of Pogba and the Frenchman’s type since January has proven that he can be a giant miss if he leaves.
Determination 2: De Gea or Henderson?
Solskjaer did not must hold Dean Henderson last summer, as there were plenty of suitors to sign the goalkeeper on loan again, but he did so knowing there would be a season of debate about who should be No. 1. There is a feeling within the club that the uncertainty cannot be allowed to carry on into next season.
Sources have told ESPN that Henderson is considered the more complete goalkeeper because of his distribution and ability to catch and punch high balls but there remains a loyalty to David De Gea because of what he’s done over the last 10 years. Both have long contracts at Old Trafford and there is an acceptance De Gea’s wages make a move away problematic.
Henderson is determined to play regular football and sources have told ESPN that a number of top European clubs have already expressed an interest. He was been given a chance to make his case in the last month while De Gea was unavailable, which means the April fixtures give a big hint as to the way Solskjaer is leaning with the Spaniard back in his ranks.
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Decision 3: Does Lingard stay or go?
Jesse Lingard could barely make the squad before moving to West Ham United on loan in January, but in the past two months he’s been one of the best players in the league. Five goals in seven games has been enough to earn two player of the month nominations and a recall to the England squad after a two-year absence.
The 28-year-old will have one year left on his contract in the summer and Solskjaer will have to decide whether to offer a new deal or sanction a sale. Lingard has flourished as a No. 10 at West Ham, but he is unlikely to dislodge Bruno Fernandes at United.
In the peak years of his career, he is desperate to play regular football and will not accept another bit-part role at Old Trafford. West Ham have already decided they want to sign Lingard permanently, but he will have a lot of offers to choose from if he moves.
Decision 4: Where to spend the money?
The coronavirus pandemic means money is tight across Europe, and while United are not immune, there will be money to spend. The issue for Solskjaer, football director John Murtough, technical director Darren Fletcher and the recruitment department is where to use it. You can make a case that United need a right-back, centre-back, central midfielder, winger and a centre forward but it’s unrealistic to expect that all those problems can be solved before next season.
Solskjaer will have to decide where his priorities lie while decisions will also be impacted by who leaves. Signing a striker will become more important if Edinson Cavani doesn’t extend his deal. Promoting young players is a large part of Solskjaer’s philosophy at Old Trafford, but it has to be balanced against winning games in the short term and it means there aren’t always enough opportunities for youngsters. There are high hopes for Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri, but they may have to go out on loan to find the football they need to continue their development.