Man Utd face transfer issue after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s latest tactical switch

Atalanta 2-2 Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer review

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rolled the dice after being given just three games to save his job following Manchester United’s 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool. But luckily for the United chief, he appears to have hit the jackpot.

The Norwegian’s call to implement a 3-5-2 formation paid off handsomely as United thumped Tottenham 3-0 in north London to take some of the heat off of him heading into Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Atalanta.

Although United needed Cristiano Ronaldo to salvage a priceless point late on, there’s still a sense of optimism that Solskjaer’s tactical tweak can help him retain his job.

On paper, switching to a back five makes perfect sense for a side that has kept just two clean sheets in their last 23 games.

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But although Solskjaer may have stumbled upon a new magic formula, it’s not one that comes without its caveats.

Time is running out for Solskjaer to properly implement big-money signings Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho into his squad, with the duo’s patience wearing thin at Old Trafford.

Sancho was pursued for almost two years by United before they forked out £73million to lure him to Manchester this summer.

But the former Borussia Dortmund man has started just a handful of games – and it’s hard to see where he fits into Solskjaer’s new shape.

Although van de Beek did get on against Atalanta briefly, and earned praise from Solskjaer for his role in Ronaldo’s late goal, the Dutchman is very much still in the same boat. Sancho may be the new big-money buy languishing on the bench, but it was van de Beek who unwillingly started the trend last year.

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Solskjaer is now rapidly approaching the point of no return when it comes to implementing the duo into his team. If he can’t find a way to fit them into his new approach, then there could be consequences beyond the immediate damage to Sancho and van de Beek’s morale.

Manchester United are one of the most famous clubs in the world and the club relies heavily on that pull when it comes to enticing some of the best young players from around the world to Old Trafford.

But the current situation with Sancho and van de Beek won’t have gone unnoticed.

Solskjaer and United face seriously undermining their ability to lure future transfer targets to the club if they continue to leave over £100m of talent rotting on the bench.

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At the minute, it’s hard to see what the long-term strategical planning was behind bringing the duo in.

Perhaps there was one for Sancho, in all fairness. But the unexpected arrival of Ronaldo late in the summer transfer window, coupled with Solskjaer’s recent change in approach seems to be having a hugely detrimental effect on the England ace – who now looks completely devoid of any confidence he may have had left after his summer ordeal that followed the Euros.

Sancho is due to link up with England next week, where, ironically, he’ll presumably join up with Declan Rice, the midfielder who has been tentatively earmarked as the solution to all of United’s midfield problems ahead of a potential move next summer.

It’s hard to imagine Sancho egging Rice on to make the move right now. And even if he were, it’s hard to see Rice, or anyone for that matter, falling for the bright lights of Old Trafford just now when they can see how United have left their most recent ‘prized’ investments sitting in the dark.

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