It’s been another frustrating transfer market for Manchester United, with Donny Van De Beek the only confirmed new signing so far. But in his latest press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stopped short of criticising the board for the lack of transfer activity. Instead, seeming to backtrack on his opinion of the squad’s depth.
“When I talk about the squad depth, we’ve got a big squad and, of course, the performances last year didn’t warrant me giving too many of them more options. I think it’s a different situation now and already I’ve seen many of the players I didn’t see too much last season, performing really well.”
These sound like the words of a man resigned to accepting his lot, and even trying to justify the position. And exactly the kind of talk United fans didn’t want to hear.
Solskjaer’s impossible position
In truth Solskjaer is just as frustrated as the rest of us but he just can’t say anything. He’s torn between wanting to strengthen, and refusing to criticise the board. He knows how fortunate he is to have this job, and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise that. Who can blame him?
You can see it etched on his face, as he strains to stop himself from saying how he really feels.
He knows we need reinforcements all over the pitch. Specifically central defence, left-back, right wing and defensive midfield.
The club has publicly hedged all their bets on signing Jadon Sancho, but with that move dragging on, what’s the Plan B? Solskjaer is very good at carefully choosing his words, but the line “they know my view” speaks volumes as to how he really feels.
What next for the club?
If United fail to sign anyone else – without also clearing anyone from the wage bill – this window will rightly be classed as one of our worst.
At the very least, one of those problem positions needs to be filled. Whether that’s with Telles, Sancho or someone else, something needs to be done. And one of the many fringe players touted across Europe also need to go. Whether that’s Chris Smalling, Andreas Pereira or even Diogo Dalot, something’s got to give.
You have to feel for Solskjaer in this position. This isn’t his fault, but ultimately he will be the fall guy if the squad under-performs.