Why Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must act in transfer market after fixtures released

Why Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must act in transfer market after fixtures released

Chelsea first up at home, followed by a trip to Wolves and an Old Trafford date with Crystal Palace before an away day at Southampton. August appea

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Chelsea first up at home, followed by a trip to Wolves and an Old Trafford date with Crystal Palace before an away day at Southampton. August appears to be a tricky one already on paper and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could find himself under immediate pressure.

And he knows it too.

“I’ve said all along, I’m going to be successful here and there are players there who won’t be part of that successful team. But there are players there, of course, many of these who do have it.”

That was Solskjaer’s blunt warning after his side were embarrassed 4-0 at Everton back in April.

Yet since the curtain came down on the Premier League season, there has hardly been any action of note at Manchester United give the amount of work that needs to be done.

Daniel James is their only acquisition so far, arriving from Swansea for £18million. If you compare that with the business carried out by Real Madrid – another giant of world football also rebuilding – there is a reason to be alarmed.

Zinedine Zidane has already spent £272m on Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo which makes you wonder what is really going on behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

There is still no director of football in place and Ed Woodward remains in charge of transfer proceedings, meaning the same mistakes of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era could follow.

In the wake of the Premier League fixtures being released, one thing is clear. Solskjaer will have little margin for error next season, particularly given the way his side’s electric start to his tenure nosedived.

First up in August they host Chelsea, who are similarly in a period of transition. It’s not yet clear who will be at the helm for the Blues next season, or whether they will be able to sign players.

Nonetheless, it’s not the easiest of openers to the new campaign and defeat could see the Norwegian fall under immediate pressure.

United visit Wolves the following weekend, a team who had plenty of success against the top six in their first season back in the top-flight.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side held Jose Mourinho’s underperforming stars to a draw at Old Trafford last September before Wolves beat United twice in the space of two weeks at Molineux (once in the FA Cup) later in the season.

Crystal Palace, Southampton, Leicester and West Ham come next in what Solskjaer will be targeting as must-win matches. These are the fixtures where anything other than three points could potentially harm United’s ambitions, whatever they maybe for the upcoming season.

As September draws to a close, they host Arsenal who they took just one point against last season. With the race for the top four nip and tuck, the Baby-faced Assassin must oversee an improvement in form against direct rivals. It could be the difference between Champions League and Europa League football.

The same of which applies to a crunch match with Liverpool just after a trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle, the first quarter of the season could ruthlessly expose United if they fail to make amends and bring the right faces through the door in the next two months.

Around 30 names have been linked with a move to United yet there has been no real movement or signs of intent from those upstairs. Real Madrid clearly spent the final months of their disjointed season planning their recruitment, which they have carried out efficiently.

Solskjaer has made it clear that he wants to sign young, hungry British talent who are committed to the shirt but taking on that kind of approach to his project will require time.

A slow start would not necessarily guarantee that, particularly given that supporters are growing impatient after watching their rivals Manchester City win three titles since they last lifted the trophy, Liverpool crowned champions of Europe, even Tottenham have reached the final and continuously finished above them in the Premier League.

The time has come for United to act, otherwise they face taking yet another backwards step next season.

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