Solskjaer was set to make a switch in the new season following Manchester United’s imminent signing of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane to help the Red Devils better break teams down
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ s new tactical plan for Manchester United has been thrown into doubt.
With Raphael Varane on the cusp of signing from Real Madrid for an initial £34million, Solskjaer was set to make a shift for the new season.
The French centre-back’s impending arrival gives the Red Devils considerably more athleticism in their back line, and his ability to cut-out counter attacks means United should be able to take more risks.
Solskjaer’s side scored a number of goals last term on the counter attack, needing the opposition to commit before exploiting them with their forwards’ pace, rather than breaking them down.
With Varane partnering Harry Maguire instead of the steady but limited Victor Lindelof, the Red Devils could’ve afforded to push higher and add an extra attacker – but their plan has already been hindered.
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The Norwegian manager, who recently signed a new three-year deal with the club, was reportedly ready to end his reliance on the divisive midfield pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay.
It was believed that one of them would lose their place, with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes completing a midfield trio in a 4-3-3 formation to replace the tried and tested 4-2-3-1.
However, Pogba may be forced into another role thanks to an injury to another key man.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was set to employ a new formation this season
Action Images via Reuters)
On Friday, it was confirmed that Marcus Rashford was to have surgery on a shoulder issue which has been troubling him for much of the past year.
That means Pogba would play on the left wing as he did so influentially towards the end of the season, ousting Rashford to the right, who struggled to make an impact from that flank.
Mason Greenwood is a much more natural right-winger thanks to his two-footed ability, Jadon Sancho also predominantly played on that side in four years at Borussia Dortmund.
Notably, though, he did star on the left in his final few matches for the German giants and Daniel James or youngster Anthony Elanga could fill that role.
Although some would expect £73million signing Sancho to start on the left and Greenwood on the right, Solskjaer is known for his more conservative approach when it comes to lineups.
What formation should Solskjaer employ for the start of the season? Comment your starting XI below.
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So, when United welcome Leeds to kick-off their Premier League campaign on Saturday, August 14, ‘McFred’ could return to the middle at Old Trafford.
Fred is yet to return to pre-season training after reaching the Copa America final with Brazil but has been a first-choice regular under the 48-year-old manager after an upturn in form during the 2019-20 before last, particularly in the big games.
Solskjaer recently alluded to how the addition of Varane could alter the way the Red Devils play after United’s 2-2 friendly draw with Brentford.
“First of all, the club has shown ambition with getting one of the most exciting young forwards in world football [Sancho], and one of the most respected centre-backs and one of the most winning centre-backs in the world,” he said.
“With him [Varane] in, we’ve got different ways of playing of course, and I can see different ways of playing with Raphael.
“I can’t wait to get him in and hopefully we can get that sorted as soon as.”
Asked when we could expect the deal to be sealed, Solskjaer responded after Wednesday’s match: “From what I know, the club is working on the quickest possible solution to get everything sorted.
“I don’t know the timescale on it yet. Of course, there is a visa coming into England, with Brexit and quarantining.
“Everything has to be done as quick as possible, but by the book.”
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