Man Utd's transfer window was farcical at times but Solskjaer must take blame for disastrous start to season

MANCHESTER UNITED'S protracted and unsuccessful pursuit of Jadon Sancho was nothing short of farcical – but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must take the blame for the appalling start to the season.

The board didn’t help the Red Devils during the extended summer transfer window.


The mayhem in the final hours of the window only highlights how poorly the club is being run.

Edinson Cavani was a free agent and could have joined the club much earlier in the window – so why not?

Sure, on paper he’s seen as an upgrade on Odion Ighalo.

But he’s not the Cavani of five years ago and the fear is that he turns out to be more like Radamel Falcao than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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The Uruguayan has also been given the famous No7 jersey that was supposedly being reserved for Sancho. Again, this looks messy.

Then there’s the 'successful' pursuit of Alex Telles, a full-back Solskajer has chased for a while.

But again, the final price that was agreed, could and should have been concluded much earlier.

The two other signings – Facundo Pellistri from Club Atletico Penarol, and Amad Traore from Atalanta – are youngsters with potential.

Diallo is not expected to join up with his new team until January.

But these are off the field and circumstances Solskjaer probably can’t control.

What he has been able to control is the first three Premier League games of the season, which as the league table already shows, haven’t been good enough.

A 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace was followed by a lucky win against Brighton.

Then, of course, there's the 6-1 home humiliation at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. 

Now they were NOT the fault of the board, but of the manager and coaches that pick the side.

Harry Maguire has returned as captain and in his first three games looked worse than during the final period of last season.


The England man is struggling and needs to concentrate on defending rather than organising – something that clearly doesn’t come naturally to him.

Maguire’s usual partner Victor Lindelof was dropped against Tottenham.

But if the defence is struggling so much, why allow Chris Smalling to leave for Roma?

In midfield, the talented Donny van de Beek has had to watch on while Paul Pogba’s poor form has continued.

There also appears to be an issue with Marcus Rashford, who – despite a decent performance against Brighton – still doesn’t look to be free from his inconsistent period.

The side that started the game against Spurs at Old Trafford was pretty much the side that guided United to third place in the Premier League – and the Champions League football that comes with it.

Yes, the board could have done more, but Solskjaer hasn’t delivered either in the early part of the season.

It feels like we’re here again with the Norwegian and discussions about his future.

But, it’s different now, because the competition is greater for a top-four finish.

While Mauricio Pochettino is out of work and Solskjaer is under-performing, the intense pressure will always be on.

*Follow Tom McDermott on Twitter…

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