4 winners and 3 losers from Solskjaer’s sacking as United manager

4 winners and 3 losers from Solskjaer’s sacking as United manager

4 winners and 3 losers from Solskjaer’s sacking as United manager

A new era will dawn at Man United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure as manager. The Norwegian was sacked on Sunday after a string of poor losses in the Premier League this season.

The Red Devils are yet to name his permanent successor, but an interim manager should be announced in due time. A lot of changes could come with another manager. But any manager will be excited with the kind of squad he’ll get to manage at Old Trafford.

For the players, it could mean a clean slate. Some could benefit from Ole’s departure, while some others could rue it. That being said, let’s look at the winners and losers from Solskjaer’s sacking.

Donny van de Beek

Does this even need much explanation? Ole’s treatment of Van de Beek shocked many. The Dutchman only started 3 Premier League games over nearly one and a half campaigns at Old Trafford.

Donny only started small-time cup games and despite impressing, he was snubbed by Ole. He was mostly used as a substitute last season and didn’t get much game-time this season at all – despite physical transformations.

With the skills he has, Van de Beek can thrive under a top-level manager. Any new manager will probably give Van de Beek more starts in midfield going forward, which is why he’ll benefit from Ole’s departure.

Jadon Sancho

Solskjaer was reportedly a long-term admirer of Jadon Sancho. He tried signing him last year before finally getting him for £73m earlier this summer. But the English winger failed to impress under Ole’s system, struggling to replicate his heroics from last season at Borussia Dortmund.

A change of manager could be a breath of fresh air for Sancho – who is yet to score or assist a goal in 13 United appearances. If United appoints an attack-minded tactician who realizes how to use the winger perfectly, Sancho could excel in the post-Solskjaer era.

Alex Telles

Alex Telles was another player grossly underutilized by Ole. The Brazilian wing-back has only started 2 games this season for United and played 17 minutes of Premier League football. This is despite Luke Shaw being inconsistent and struggling from a post-Euros hangover.

Another manager should rotate the squad much better and give Telles the opportunities he deserves. He proved with the stunning goal against Villarreal to be more than able to impress as a robust left-back for United.

With the ‘favoritism’ on Shaw now gone, he can start proving his quality for the Red Devils.

Eric Bailly

Bailly was perhaps another victim of Solskjaer’s tendency to play Harry Maguire almost all the time. The Ivorian defender even reportedly confronted the manager over playing a half-fit Maguire over him in the loss to Leicester City earlier this season.

A new manager could mean a clean slate for Bailly. As long as he’s able to impress Ole’s successor with strong defensive performances, he could earn more starts for himself. Bailly can start competing strongly with Maguire and look to take his place by maintaining fitness and being consistent going forward.


Solskjaer found a real liking for Fred’s energetic, tenacious playing style from the first day at United. That’s why the Brazilian midfielder was almost a stalwart in his midfield, starting more games than he deserved to. This is despite not contributing to goals and being bullied by PL opponents.

Fred could be at threat of losing his regular spot in the team with a new manager’s arrival. Unless able to help United control games better or quicken the transitions from defence to attack, he could struggle for regular game-time.

Fred has to impose himself better in matches to improve his chances of remaining a regular or risk moving way below in the midfield pecking order.

Harry Maguire

Maguire was THE stalwart defender for Solskjaer since his arrival in 2019. In the 2019/20 season, he played every minute of every single Premier League game for the Red Devils. Last season, the Englishman only missed the last few games because of an injury.

However, after a first few solid campaigns, Maguire’s form has regressed massively this season. He is making poor errors and failing in his role as captain.

Now that his ‘protector’ Ole is gone, he can’t really hide away anymore. Harry could be at threat of losing his captaincy after a new manager comes in and the new boss could even bench him unless able to improve performances.

Anthony Martial

Martial had a very topsy-turvy journey under Solskjaer at United. In his first full season, the Frenchman was the club’s top scorer with a career-best 23 goals in the 2019/20 season. Last season, however, he regressed and only scored 7 goals

This season, he’s only scored 1 goal and struggled with fitness issues. Despite his inconsistency, Martial was still protected by Ole and given a lot of chances to improve himself.

The future manager might not be as forgiving. Unless able to give more effort in games and be consistent with delivering goals, he could find himself permanently reduced to the bench