Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek’s form is a key cause for concern for Manchester United as the Red Devils continue to struggle – and it could earn Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the sack, says Paul Merson.
United have won just two of their last six games, with both wins coming in the dying embers of the respective fixtures.
And with losses to West Ham, Aston Villa and Young Boys in the space of two weeks, the termination of Solskjaer’s contract has once again become a talking point.
Merson believes that Solskjaer cannot continue to play this poorly, especially with the talent that has been left rotting on the bench.
Factor in the fees paid for Anthony Martial and Nemanja Matic alongside the duo, there is over £175million worth of talent not being utilised.
And with the title race already well underway, Merson believes Solskjaer has to justify paying extortionate fees for the pair if he is to keep his job.
“Time was not so long ago when playing poorly and having two players you forked out £110m for on the bench was a recipe for the bullet,” he told the Daily Star.
“No one seems to say a dickie bird these days, but that doesn’t mean Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get away with it much longer.
“His job has to be on the line especially his inability to get a tune out of Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek.
“They look like their confidence is shot and, for me, the only way to get them up to speed is to keep playing them.”
Merson has seen plenty of similar cases in his time in English football – none more so than ex-Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp.
Bergkamp joined the Gunners when Merson was in the final year of his time at Highbury, and initially struggled – but Merson uses him as a pointer that all players can get better as they take time to adapt.
“When Dennis Bergkamp came to Arsenal he struggled in his first three or four games but they persevered with him and suddenly he was up and running and on his way to becoming arguably the best foreign import ever,” he continued.
“Sancho cost £70m and his ability isn’t in question so stick with him.
“Right now he reminds me of a golfer who has double-bogeyed the first hole and is chasing things by trying to make a birdie at the second.
“He’s chasing and I feel for him because if you get behind the eight ball at a massive club like United, it’s desperately hard to turn it around.”