Pundit Joe Cole has delivered his verdict on how much time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be given as Manchester United boss.
The Norwegian took over at Old Trafford in December 2018, initially as caretaker manager. He was given the role permanently just a few months later after impressing Man Utd officials.
Solskjaer is a legend of the club following his hugely successful time as a player there. But he is coming under increasing pressure due to his team’s disappointing performances.
They were beaten by Aston Villa in the Premier League towards the end of September. Following a Champions League win over Villarreal, they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw with Everton next time out.
The 4-2 defeat to Leicester City on October 16 saw some fans request a change in management. But Solskjaer’s luck was in as Cristiano Ronaldo headed a late winner against Atalanta in their last outing.
Man Utd backed Solskjaer in the summer by spending over £130million. Former England star Cole thinks Solskjaer needs to provide a trophy this season or risk the sack.
“It’s an interesting project at Man United because they’ve obviously shown a lot of belief in Ole, and in his processes,” Cole said (via Express).
“He’s been given so much now, the squad is there – I think still a tad unbalanced, I think they’d like to be stronger in the middle of the park.
“They’ve added probably the greatest player in Man United’s history back to the club [Ronaldo], he’s already made a massive impact, so I think for Ole the pressure is on, he has to go and deliver.
“I think it has to happen this year now, he’s been there a long time. He has got the squad to do it, can he install that mentality? Again, time will tell.”
United’s next game is a huge clash against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. That starts a tough run of fixtures including an away trip to Spurs and a derby against Man City.
Solskjaer and Man Utd eyeing Italy forward
United have gathered information on Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne as they keep transfer tabs on him, a report has claimed.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland has remained a long-term transfer target.
But for a cheaper attacking option, previous reports have claimed that Italy international Insigne is on their radar.
According to the latest from Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness), that remains the case. But the report adds that United have now ‘informed themselves’ about the player’s current predicament.
Insigne has been a loyal servant to Napoli following his rise through the youth ranks. However, his current contract ends next summer and he has yet to reach an agreement.
As such, United could either snap him up for a cut-price fee in January or wait until he becomes a free agent. Still, Inter are circling, the report adds, trying to tempt Insigne to stay in Italy.