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Eight Man United stars who got worse under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Cristiano Ronaldo call costly



In time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be remembered for that goal again and, for a decent man whose love for Manchester United always shone brightly, that seems about right.

There was certainly no joy in seeing him as a lightning rod for fans’ anger, or comfort in watching this unfailingly polite man crushed and exposed time and time again.

But as a manager his three years at the helm of the most powerful club in the world will go down as a failure for all the positive spin United’s board tried to put on it after sacking him yesterday.

Solskjaer restored pride to the club after the toxicity of Jose Mourinho and there were some notable nights on his watch. It has not been a dull three years.

But he never had a strong enough idea of how he wanted his team to play or the authority to challenge a board who continue to make bafflingly bad footballing decisions.

See also  Man United squad shocked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reaction to Sheffield United defeat

His signings have been hit and miss, but the more damning charge is that good players have gone backwards under him.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Fred and possibly even Mason Greenwood. The list goes on.

Solskjaer may look back and believe his biggest mistake was to accept the imposition of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose arrival upset pre-season planning with regard to Edinson Cavani and put his best player last season, Bruno Fernandes, in the shade.

Yet if that arrival can be pinpointed as the moment things started to unravel the board and Ed Woodward must take their share of blame.

Indeed, it is a good job the departing executive vice-chairman is good at the commercial side of things because his decisions on footballing matters have been nothing short of disastrous.

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Just three months ago Woodward gave Solskjaer a new contract like he had done with Mourinho before reaching for the axe – a decision which resulted in a £19.6million pay-off.

The money has flowed in and rushed out at United with a near £400m spend on their current squad including £133m this summer – the second most expensive ever assembled.

And Solskjaer never demanded a quality midfielder, Jude Bellingham slipping through his fingers to go to Germany and Declan Rice staying at West Ham.

A midfield built from parts including Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Pogba and Juan Mata was never strong enough to compete with the best.

If Solskjaer has been let down by a set of players lately there is a sense they have just grown tired of having to bale him out.

In his time there have been 19 occasions when they have come from behind to win starting with Southampton in March 2019 and most recently when scorching back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Atalanta.

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After the first of those Solskjaer said it was “just like the old days” but the adrenaline-fuelled nostalgia trip was unsustainable long term finally running out of track.

Solskjaer’s devotion to Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to dictate his approach to hands-off coaching and also smother chance of a methodology of his own emerging.

Where Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have imposed their style on a dressing room, it is still hard to put your finger on what the Solskjaer model is three years on.

Defeats against Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford certainly showed what it had become – performances devoid of spirit, organisation and effort. And for that a good man had to go.


Report: Chelsea agree personal terms with Inter Milan superstar




Chelsea look to be closing in on the signing of 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei.

The Blues are reportedly agreeing personal terms with the Inter Milan youngster ahead of what is expected to be a €15m (plus add-ons) transfer. Inter had been looking for around €20m all told.

As per Fabrizio Romano, and others, the highly promising Italy youth international, though who has yet to make his senior professional debut, has agreed a six-year deal with the Blues, choosing Chelsea over the likes of OGC Nice in France and US Sassuolo in Italy.

Presumably, Casadei will not be joining the Chelsea first-team right away, though post-Brexit work permit rules are fairly esoteric and confusing.

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Perhaps he will end up joining one of the aforementioned teams on loan to build up the necessary professional experience? Just speculating…

See also  Man United squad shocked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reaction to Sheffield United defeat

While the two teams have yet to agree a transfer, this looks to be drawing to a successful conclusion for us, adding yet another teenager talent to the team as we look to build for not only this season but for many seasons in the future.

See also  Man United already have Jadon Sancho transfer agreement as new Dortmund price comes to light
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Mikel Arteta drops Youri Tielemans hint as Arsenal can sign ‘more complete’ N’Golo Kante




Today’s Arsenal transfer round-up on Tuesday, August 16.

Tielemans hint

Mikel Arteta’s increased use of Granit Xhaka could mean that Arsenal are close to giving up on transfer target Youri Tielemans.

The Gunners are still chasing a deal for the Leicester City midfielder but have seen their chances dwindle of doing a deal this summer and now, despite Xhaka previously saying he had come close to leaving, the club could have to do without a new addition.

Xhaka is now part of a new leadership group at the Emirates Stadium, a possible indication that he may remain at the club and throw a move for Tielemans into doubt.

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Kante replacement

With Tielemans becoming less and less attainable this season, Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere.

According to the Express, Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs including the Gunners and Manchester United. Having been previously compared with Kante, Arsenal’s desire to sign Caicedo is understandable.

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South American football expert Tim Vickery said, “A year ago he was saying that Kante of Chelsea is his role model but he is already more than that. He already offers more in the final third.”

Yeremi Pino flight explained

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has cleared the air regarding Yeremi Pino and denies that a bid has been made for him.

Romano told CaughtOffside, “Many clubs have been following Yeremi Pino for months, he is a top player of the future that at least three Premier League clubs have been monitoring for some time.

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“No proposals have been made yet to Villarreal, who would like more than €50m for their young star; it will not be an easy negotiation.

“As for the rumours about Arsenal – Edu was not travelling to Spain to meet Villarreal, also because Pino’s agents are based in the UK (Stellar Group).”

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Erik Ten Hag believes £64,000 a week player will agree to join Man United – Report




Despite signing two defenders this summer, Manchester United’s backline has been terrible this season and yet another defender is linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Yesterday, we covered a story (via Sport) claiming that the Red Devils have submitted an offer to sign Sergino Dest, who has received a clear message to leave Barcelona.

Today, the Spanish news source have covered another report and stated that the American international has not been able to impress in the last two years, moreover, he failed to convince Xavi in pre-season. Therefore, his exit is considered essential.

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Erik ten Hag wants to get rid of Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer so that he can complete the signing of Dest, who is valued at 20 million euros.

The Catalan media outlet claim the Dutch manager believes that the 21-year-old Barca defender will agree (say Yes) to join Man United.

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Ten Hag really needs to understand that players from the Netherlands or connections with Ajax are not guaranteed to solve the conundrum at Old Trafford.

Under Van Gaal, Depay and Blind failed to shine for Man United. For Ten Hag, thus far, the likes of Eriksen, Martinez and Malacia have not settled.

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Now, he is pushing to sign another ex Ajax player in the form of Dest. The American was a hit in the Eredivisie but has proved to be average in the La Liga.

The youngster’s current contract at the Nou Camp will expire in 2025 and he earns around £64,000 a week (The Sun).

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