Manchester United are concerned four players may have hit their ceiling under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to reports.
The Norwegian is under pressure ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Leicester having seen his side fail to win four of their last six matches. But he still retains the backing of the club’s dressing room.
Manchester United went into the season with high hopes.
After landing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively, they had boosted their squad substantially.
And United then further improved with the dramatic deadline day signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Old Trafford after 12 years away.
In the short time since, however, the Red Devils have struggled.
They’ve failed to win four of their last six matches, losing to West Ham, Young Boys and Aston Villa while also drawing against Everton.
And The Athletic say some concerns exist that four United players’ developments have stalled under Solskjaer’s watch.
One is Anthony Martial.The France international was tipped to be a future Ballon d’Or winner when he signed in 2015, when Louis van Gaal ruled the roost.
But while he recently scored against Everton, the 25-year-old has struggled for consistency over the past 18 months.
Martial appeared to be coming good after his exploits in the 2019/2020 campaign, when he netted 23 times across all competitions.
Yet that number dropped to seven last season and he’s struck just once since the start of the new campaign.
United are also concerned Fred and Scott McTominay have ‘hit a ceiling’, despite Solskjaer regularly advocating the pair.
And they also fear Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s development has stalled, too, with the former Crystal Palace star enduring a tough start to the campaign.
While that’s the case, however, United don’t plan on making a managerial change.
And the players themselves want Solskjaer to succeed, with the Norwegian yet to win them a trophy since taking over from Jose Mourinho nearly three years ago.
United chief John Murtough was recently asked about the club’s patchy form.
And he insisted Solskjaer was central to their plans for the future, saying: “We’re aiming for consistency and continuity in recruitment.
“We have a full process in place, making sure we’re planned in what we do.
“Squad development is never-ending and constantly evolving. We’re sitting down with Ole and we’re talking about future plans in terms of where the squad will go and how we think it will develop.
“We want to balance squads with the right profile in terms of positions and in terms of age.
“The current squad has good balance with young, exciting players coming through, and those in the middle in the prime of their careers.
“And then you’ve the more experienced group – we can learn a lot from them, and they’re already having an impact on some of the younger players.
“We want a squad that can challenge today but also in the future as well.”
And Murtough also called for calm, too.
“The Premier League is one of most competitive leagues in the world – players in from abroad and other leagues tell us how different it is – but we are 100 per cent up for this challenge,” he said.
“We believe that we’ve got the talent and the character within the squad to succeed.
“One thing we do is just keep control – emotionally we don’t get carried away, we don’t deviate from our plan.
“Ole and the staff are very focused on that.
“We don’t get distracted by what’s said on social media, which can sometimes create fervour and hysteria. It’s part of the modern game, but we’re very focused.”