Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United revolution is in full swing – after he ditched the club’s failed policy of signing ‘Galacticos’.
United are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run, within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for a Champions League spot and remain on course for FA Cup and Europa League glory.
Solskjaer has embarked on a radical overhaul of United’s squad, shifting the focus from signing star names in favour of home-grown talent and players fully committed to taking the club back to the top.
After the disastrous signings of stars like Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Alexis Sanchez, Solskjaer has recruited younger, hungrier and more dynamic players, rather than mercenaries past their best.
Players like Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes have proved shrewd buys, while Soskjaer has rejuvenated those who had lost their way and put his faith in young talents like Mason Greenwood, allowing them to flourish.
The prosaic football under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho has given way to a faster, more fluid and expansive style under Solskjaer, epitomised by United’s stunning final counter-attack goal in Tuesday’s 3-0 rout at Brighton.
Former United defender David May, a double Premier League and FA Cup winner, who also won the Champions League, said Solskjaer’s approach had been vindicated with the team’s current resurgence.
“I think the way Ole’s done it and the way he’s looking at players, he’s not going out and buying superstars like Di Maria or Falcao, who think they’re something special,” said May.
“He’s going out and getting players who fit the Manchester United way, and Bruno is that way.
“When those players come into the squad, you know they’re not just here for the money, they’re not just here for the ride, they’re here to improve Manchester United.
“The way he’s come in, he’s been different class, and that gives everybody a boost.
“From the day he walked in, there’s no ego about him, he’s just a top player.
“He’s improved the team and he makes other players play better. He’s lifted the whole team.
“We’ve only seen him and Paul Pogba play for something like 219 minutes, but in that time they’ve scored or created eight goals and conceded none, which is incredible.
“You want to see that – and we will see that. It’s only going to get better.”
May, speaking in an MUTV group chat, was backed by former team-mate Wes Brown, who hailed the win at Brighton as conclusive proof Solskajer has United heading in the right direction.
“It was brilliant from the start,” said Brown. “They completely took control.
“I was just smiling the whole way through it. You could see things the lads were trying were coming off, we were scoring goals and it’s exactly what we needed at the moment.”
Brown reserved special praise for £46.6million singing Fernandes, who scored twice at Brighton, taking his tally to six goals and four assists since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January.
“He kept bigging up his team-mates in his interview afterwards and said everyone’s in it together,” said Brown.
“He gets the whole team playing and we can see on the pitch when he’s playing, everyone’s trying to feed little balls in, little one-twos.
“Everything’s a lot quicker and I think that’s all down to him coming in and sometimes you just need that extra piece to get everything together and, for me, he’s definitely the one.
“He was captain at his last club and the way he’s gone about his business here, he’s definitely got the potential to be captain in the future as well.”