With only two wins in their last five matches, many onlookers have called for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to spend big in the January Transfer window and freshen up his side, in the hope that Manchester United’s season can be galvanised.
Gambling.com spoke to former Red Devil, Paul Parker, who gave his thoughts on potential targets – one of whom is a fellow countryman to Solskjaer but the ex-defender fears big names would be put off from signing for Manchester United!
“You can’t question what Haaland has done so far – he’s scored goals against big sides in the biggest club competition. But the biggest problem United have with going for Haaland is that they’re not going to be able to get him.
“Does he really want to come to Manchester United given the current situation? There would be massive pressure on him to deliver from the moment he arrives. That’s what worries me the most every time he gets mentioned as a possible signing.”
Parker went on to say that Haaland may also have reservations about a move to Old Trafford, particularly if the Board lose patience with the Manager who is coming under increasing pressure.
“Obviously there’s the Norwegian connection to Solskjaer, but does he feel comfortable enough that Ole is still going to be there by the end of the season? That’s if he’s even allowed to leave in January.”
Another option for United in January would be to splash out on the currently out-of-favour, Jadon Sancho, who is at Borussia Dortmund at present, however, Parker has his reservations and hasn’t bought into the hype:
“They’re talking about £100m for him. I’ve seen him a few times for England, he’s been alright, but I’ve never seen him make a massive impact.
“Yes, he’s done very well in the Bundesliga, but is he worth that money? I think it’s a massive gamble, particularly as I don’t think United even need a wide player, not unless they’re going to contribute 15-20 goals a season.”
Funds will not be too hard to find for the Manchester United board, but if they did need a few quid to free up some transfer funds, Parker told Gambling.com one way of doing so would be to sell their record signing, Paul Pogba!
“From a commercial viewpoint, he’s been great, but what do you want from a player? A commercial entity or an efficient player? Personally, I want to see a footballer. It’s about what you do on the pitch that matters.
“If someone was to come in for Pogba in January and offer the right money, I’d take it, without a doubt.
“I didn’t like how he was being treated by Jose Mourinho – and I thought there would be a better way to manage him… But since Solskjaer’s come in, despite a return to form early on, I’m still not seeing Pogba’s desire to play for Manchester United, a lot of fans would now admit that.”
Although Pogba has been sidelined by injury since the end of September, Parker was quick to question whether the Frenchman would actually make as big an impact on the United side when he does eventually return:
“Would he even make that much difference to the team’s trajectory? We can’t say for sure, but we’re pretty sure Manchester United isn’t what he wants anymore, he wants something a bit more glamorous.
“Should the opportunity arise, I think United should allow him and his agent to move on and fill their pockets again.”
However, with United’s recent form not being anything to shout about, Parker told Gambling.com that Solskjaer may not even get the opportunity to bolster his squad in the new year:
“I’m going to have to be perfectly honest and admit that if they lose both games (Tottenham and City) and it happens in a bad fashion, I think he’s going to be let down by the club.
“They’re two really big games, and the Spurs game is now even bigger because of who’s in charge of them now. If United perform well and get a result in that game, then I think Ole goes to the Etihad in a good position.
“If they lose to Tottenham, and the performance is anything like it was on Sunday, then it makes the trip to City an unbelievably difficult game, everyone will be saying ‘lose this and he’s out’ if it comes to that.”
With Mauricio Pochettino now also on the market, Parker says that this only adds to the pressure which is being put on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“The fact that Pochettino is now readily available adds extra pressure on Ole’s shoulders. The going has certainly got tougher because fans are now starting to think about what things could be like if Pochettino was in charge.
However, if Pochettino was ever offered the Manchester United job in the future, Parker would urge the Argentinian to think twice before heading North to Old Trafford:
“He’s probably got plenty of options on the table, but few can rival the name and stature of Manchester United. Is he willing to jump out of the Tottenham frying pan and into the fire that is Manchester United? The stature of the club might just be enough to convince him.
“But unless something changes in their transfer business ethos, then he’d be mad to come to United.
“He’d just end up in the same position whereby he’s not in control of transfer dealings and all he gets is empty promises.”