The DREAM Man Utd XI Solskjaer was denied by the Glazers

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 20 Sept 2023 10:16 BST
  • 4 min read
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Erling Haaland, Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo
© ProShots

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have constructed a formidable team at Old Trafford had he been given the correct backing from the board, the Norwegian has claimed.

Solskjaer was a popular figure at Man Utd when he took command of the club, initially on a temporary basis, in late 2018. After winning the post permanently, he remained in charge until 2021.

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He posted a win rate of 54.17% over his 168-match tenure but failed to land any major trophies, despite a run to the 2020/21 Europa League final.

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Solskjaer, though, might have built a Premier League-winning side had he been allowed to land the transfer targets he spotted at a young age.

In an interview with The Athletic, Solskjaer has said that he wanted to land the likes of Erling Haaland, Declan Rice and Moises Caicedo for Man Utd.

“We couldn’t buy the players I mentioned to the club,” he revealed on the players he recommended to the board.

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Erling Haaland was a Solskjaer target
© ProShots - Erling Haaland was a Solskjaer target

Solskjaer added that he wanted to sign Haaland before he had even debuted for Red Bull Salzburg, several years before he became a phenomenon at Manchester City.

He also wanted to sign a young Rice, who he believes would have cost a fraction of the €117 million Arsenal paid West Ham for him in the summer, as well as Caicedo, who was still playing in Ecuador at the time and was rejected because Man Utd wanted a player to make an immediate impact.

Had Solskjaer had his way and signed these players, though, Man Utd would look very different to the team that is presently struggling in 13th place in the Premier League table.

How Man Utd would look now under Ole

The Man Utd XI that Ole might have played
© ProShots - The Man Utd XI that Ole might have played

Haaland would naturally lead the line for the Red Devils, with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and potentially Jadon Sancho lending support in an attacking midfield capacity. The Dutch influence that Erik ten Hag has brought to the side would be lessened due to the players already at the club, and that likely means Antony would never have signed.

Similarly, Rice and Caicedo would dovetail together in the heart of midfield, with no need for the big-money spend on Casemiro last summer.

In defence, Luke Shaw would be retained as left-back with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot fighting for a place on the right, as is the case now. In the centre, meanwhile, Raphael Varane could be joined by Harry Maguire, with less emphasis on the England international’s ball playing capabilities under Solskjaer.

Equally, Andre Onana would never have arrived in goal, with David de Gea likely remaining at the club after being favoured under Solskjaer.

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