Opinions

Manchester United player ratings under Ole Gunnar Solskjær

So far, Manchester United have a perfect record under interim manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Some players have been reinvigorated since his arrival at Old Trafford. I evaluate how each member of the squad has done so far.

1. David de Gea – Over the past seven-and-a-half years, de Gea has been a constant throughout good and bad days at Old Trafford. Captained the side against Huddersfield and look no further than his performance against Tottenham for how good he can, and often has been. 8.5/10

2. Victor Lindelof – The Swedish international has had his fair share of critics since arriving at the club in 2017, yet under Solskjaer he has been consistent as well as spectacular. Handled Harry Kane very well the other week and many United fans are clamouring for a partner for the affectionately known ‘Iceman’. 9/10

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3. Eric Bailly – The young Ivorian is another who’s drifted in and out of the side and none more so than this season. His one start in the league under Solskjaer came against Bournemouth ended in disappointment on a personal level when he was recklessly sent off for a lunge on the half-way line. 5/10

4. Phil Jones – Jones has gone from future England and United captain, to a crock, then being out-of-favour, and then a crock again. However he’s featured in every single game under the new manager, starting all but one. A couple of shaky moments leave United fans less than convinced of his credentials long-term. 6.5/10

6. Paul Pogba – You just have to look at the goal involvements of the World Cup winner to see his improvements in recent weeks. Banished to the bench by Jose Mourinho in the latter stages of the Portuguese’s tenure, however he is a man possessed recently. The numbers are there to prove it. 9.5/10

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7. Alexis Sanchez – But for a substitute appearance at Newcastle, and one start against Reading, the Chilean hasn’t featured due to an injury sustained at the beginning of December. Many are optimistic of a revival for the former Arsenal man, although we’ve yet to have had the chance to see it. 6/10

8. Juan Mata – A man who perennially divides opinion at Old Trafford. Those who believe United should keep the Spaniard around would be well justified at the moment. He has more than played his part, a couple of starts in the league and a cup goal against Reading resemble a good start to life under Solskjaer. 6.5/10

9. Romelu Lukaku – Another one who some would happily let leave the club. Yet three goals in his five games is a very handy return. Handier still if you consider four of those were off the bench. Now firmly a fixture on the bench, he has a job on his hands to get back in. 7/10

10. Marcus Rashford – Rashford is becoming a truly special player. His finishing is already more mature than it was, all aspects of his game are steadily improving. He’s firmly Ole’s choice for the number one striker position and he’s reaping the benefits for his faith in the youngster. 9.5/10

11. Anthony Martial – Martial’s talent has never been an issue, his attitude perhaps so. But he really has knuckled down in the last few weeks and his partnership with Rashford is a joy to watch. A new contract is apparently in the offing so we have a few more years of this wonderfully talented winger to enjoy. 8.5/10

12. Chris Smalling – Hasn’t featured at all since the 4-1 win over Fulham back in mid-December. However a foot injury has hampered his progress, regardless he will find it hard to get back in the team on a regular basis anyway. N/A

13. Lee Grant – He has been afforded the same role he undertook under the previous manager, firmly third-choice in the goalkeeping department. He was on the bench for the FA Cup win over Reading but that’s all she wrote for the ex-Stoke City stopper. N/A

14. Jesse Lingard – Becoming an ever-more important cog in the Manchester United machine, scored two in the first game under Solskjaer and has been his buzzing, upbeat self ever since. Interchanging alongside the other three attackers, he has found a home in the team. 7.5/10

15. Andreas Pereira – One of the common debates you see on social media regarding Manchester United is the involvement of versatile Brazillian midfielder, Andreas Pereira. His contract expires this summer, just the three appearances so far but surely there’s more to come. 6/10

16. Marcos Rojo – Rojo is one of few who have been frozen out by sheer choice in the new regime. Not even on the bench on a single occasion and reports suggest the Argentine could end a five-year association with the club, no matter who was, or will be in charge. N/A

17. Fred – Many are still not entirely sold on Fred. The big money signing has yet to convince in a red shirt. Hasn’t been involved in the last four league games and only has a couple of starts under Solskjaer. Still very early days though. 5.5/10

18. Ashley Young – A pillar of consistency and willing to play for the badge. Vice-captain Young has featured in a vareity of positions for the club and the trend has continued under Solskjaer. Solid if not spectacular, and deserving of more respect than he receives. 7/10

20. Diogo Dalot – By no means a regular in the side, although he performed well on the weekend he still has a long way to go before he’s starting on a regular basis. A bright future is predicted for Dalot, who many see as Antonio Valencia’s heir when he leaves the club. 6.5/10

21. Ander Herrera – Hard work is said to beat talent, and in Ander Herrera’s case it has been true. In recent months it’s looked like he will leave the club but has a new lease of life under Solskjaer, perfectly complimenting his midfield partners and becoming a big leader in this side. 8/10

22. Sergio Romero – Just the one appearance for the ever-reliable performer. Romero was his solid and capable self when he kept a clean-sheet in the win over Reading. Has been a loyal servant, and will likely be rewarded with a start on Friday night against Arsenal. 6/10

23. Luke Shaw – It wasn’t really in doubt that early on in the season, Shaw was arguably United’s best player. However, under Solskjaer he’s been rather unspectacular and quite possibly the only player who has regressed since Mourinho’s latter stages. 6.5/10

25. Antonio Valencia – There is no denying Valencia’s commitment to the cause, and the years of performances he has given us. But his legs have well and truly gone, there may well be one last hurrah but if the Newcastle game is anything to go by, he won’t be called on much more. 5.5/10

27. Marouane Fellaini – Three minutes in his opening game, and a sub appearance in the cup is all Fellaini has to show under the interim boss. Perhaps less important in the new style of play and another one seemingly out of favour. Currently injured. 5.5/10

31. Nemanja Matic – From an ineffective, and even non-existent to downright terrible presence, to a consistent, reliable and steady one at the base of midfield. Matic’s revival has been nothing short of brilliant and it’s been reflected in his performances. 7.5/10

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36. Matteo Darmian – Has had a limited role in the side for a few years now, yet still the emergency man to call upon in case of any injuries. Could well be on his way out at the end of the season, started just the once under Solskjaer just once. 6/10

37. James Garner – The talented youngster has been on the bench on a few occasions this year, although he hasn’t yet featured, a first-team debut can’t be far off the horizon. He’s very highly regarded in the youth team. N/A

39. Scott McTominay –  The young Scot has just signed a new deal at the club. He is playing a lot less than under the previous manager but still has a part to play it seems. Steady performance against Reading, nothing else to note. 6/10

40. Joel Pereira – A loan move in his homeland hasn’t worked out, so he’s been brought back to the club, perhaps with the intention to loan him out again. The young stopper is fourth choice and unsurprisingly hasn’t been involved. N/A

44. Tahith Chong – Undoubtedly as special a moment as any when Chong made his senior debut at Old Trafford. The Stretford End cheered his every touch, the talented Dutchman has a bright future. 6/10

47. Angel Gomes – For a number of years people have branded Gomes as a wonderkid. He was given an opportunity to impress in the win over Huddersfield when he made a cameo appearance. A talent greater than most his age. 6/10

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