Man United need two more signings for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactical change

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ambitious tactical evolution at Manchester United makes the Red Devils a tantalising attacking prospect.

But the club needs to strengthen in two other areas to make Solskjaer’s plan a success. 

United’s propensity to start games slowly has been a constant source of frustration for supporters in Solskjaer’s reign. 

Solskjaer’s familiar 4-2-3-1 system affords defensive protection but fast build-up play is often hindered by two holding midfielders. 

The Red Devils were impregnable away from home in the last campaign as they proved masters of the counter-attack.

But when teams sit deep at Old Trafford, the issues are laid bare as creative fulcrum Bruno Fernandes is relied upon to break a well-organised opposition down. 

If United are to compete for the Premier League title next season, their home form needs to match their form on the road.

And that requires the change in style that Solskjaer is planning ahead of the new campaign. 

ESPN report that the Norwegian boss has told players returning for pre-season training that he wants to implement a 4-3-3 formation this season.

It is claimed Solskjaer wants to field more attacking players next season, in a move that could spell an end to his preferred midfield partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could all line-up in an exciting team.

But Solskjaer has to find a defensive balance and his side weren’t without vulnerability even with two sitting midfielders last term.

A central defender has been identified to partner captain Harry Maguire, who had an excellent Euro 2020 with England.

Maguire’s ideal partner could be Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane, who is being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Varane adds experience, assurance and quality to a defence that will be less protected if Solskjaer presses ahead with his plans.

Securing the transfer of the France international would be a huge coup for Solskjaer as he plans to end his wait for silverware as manager. 

But the attacking 4-3-3 system also requires an accomplished defensive midfielder, with Fernandes and Pogba likely occupants of the more advanced midfield roles. 

Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic are all candidates for the position, but United should also explore the idea of signing an elite holding player who can provide a shield for Varane and Maguire. 

Matic requires a long-term successor while McTominay and Fred may also both be considered for the more attacking roles. 

Eduardo Camavinga is set to leave Rennes this summer and has already been capped by France.

The 18-year-old may not be an immediate starter but he certainly fits the club’s recruitment profile of young, promising talent.

Alternatively, Solskjaer could target options who have proven their capabilities in the Premier League, with Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma all attractive options. 

United have made a promising start to the transfer window but other areas need to be addressed if Solskjaer is to reap the rewards of his more ambitious approach.