July 28, 2020
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly told the Old Trafford clubs board to go for it this summer. After guiding his team to a third placed finish in the Premier League this season and therefore earning UEFA Champions League football next season, the confidence that this has brought out of the Norwegian has left him thinking that he can take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in the race to lift the Premier League title next season.
Whilst this may not be the actual outcome of the 2020/21 season, just seeing United in the same form they have been in this season for the entirety of next season would be positive. Even if they finish five or six points adrift of the eventual champions, it would be a major positive post-Sir Alex Ferguson, which was the last manager to truly compete in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho did achieve a second-placed finish but his side were 19 points adrift of City that season.
With Champions League football in the bag, Solskjaer will know that he has more chance of attracting the better players in football which is what he needs to attract to continue his rebuild of the club. Jadon Sancho is the player linked with a move to United and he is likely to cost upwards of £100 million, which is a massive fee to be paid this summer if both United are Borussia Dortmund end up concluding a deal for the 20-year-old. It has been stated by Neil Custis of The Sun that United have £140 million to spend this summer. If true, Solskjaer will have to be frugal.
The report states that Solskjaer has given executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward his transfer list this summer, which is probably something that was handed over earlier in the year with the manager having three months to look at a number of players that may have been scouted from the start of the season, giving the manager time to create a strategic list of targets for all of the positions that he wants to strengthen in his squad this summer. Solskjaer knows the extra demands that will be expected from his players now. The Sun reported him as saying:
“The club know what I feel we need and we will try and pursue it and see where we end up.
“The Champions League means better opposition for this team next year, bigger games, and we need to step it up because every week in the Champions League you have to play your best team.”
It is likely to be a big summer for United. The coronavirus pandemic has not helped United’s preparations and will probably hinder them going forward as 2020 seems to be one of those strange years that is going to keep everyone guessing as to what can and will happen. United’s season is not fully over though with the club returning to UEFA Europa League action on Wednesday next week before embarking on the latter stages of the competition in a mini tournament in Germany.
Written by John Walker