Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really the right man to bring Manchester United back to the summit of English and European Football?
The former fans’ favourite arrived with plenty of well wishers following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, but almost two years have passed since his initial appointment as caretaker manager and there have been few tangible signs of progress.
Solskjaer has enjoyed many memorable moments and led the club to a top four finish last season, whilst his attempt to instil old-school values has been commended by many connected to the Red Devils.
However, there are few who believe the Norwegian is the tactician to revive the club’s fortunes and turn them into contenders both at home and in Europe, with several concerning results – not least a 6-1 thrashing at home to Tottenham earlier this season – raising the pressure surrounding his position.
With speculation continuing in regards to whether Solskjaer is the right man to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford, we’ve decided to look at some potential successors.
So for those of you who follow the bookies odds and are interested in the best tips sites like www.freetips.com, here are the five favourites to become Manchester United’s next manager:
Laurent Blanc – 16/1
Could the United board swap one former favourite for another?
Former defender Laurent Blanc has been linked with the managerial position on several occasions previously and remains a 16/1 chance with the bookmakers to succeed Solskjaer at Old Trafford.
Blanc continues to be linked with positions despite having been out of work since leaving Paris Saint-Germain four years ago, where he won three league titles to add to another Ligue 1 crown won at Bordeux.
The former World Cup winning defender also had a spell in charge of the French national side and possesses both high-level experience and knowledge of the rigorous demands of the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers – 14/1
The notion of Brendan Rodgers taking charge of Manchester United would have been laughed off just a couple of years ago, but the turnaround in his career has made him a leading contender should any top six job become available.
Rodgers rebuilt his reputation by winning two Scottish Premierships at Celtic after leaving Liverpool, including winning back-to-back domestic trebles and completing an entire league campaign without defeat.
The lure of the Premier League subsequently proved too strong, however, and he left the Scottish champions to take charge at Leicester, where he has quietly turned the Foxes into one of the Premier League’s most impressive sides.
Last season saw Leicester narrowly miss out on Champions League qualification and the club look well positioned to challenge for a top four finish this time around, a vibrant and attacking side thriving under the Northern Irishman’s stewardship.
Rodgers’ public persona perhaps prevents him receiving the plaudits his coaching career deserves and the 47-year-old would no doubt relish another chance to prove he belongs amongst the best.
Julian Nagelsmann – 12/1
Julian Nagelsmann is a name likely to be courted by Europe’s leading clubs following his hugely impressive introduction to top-level management, becoming the Bundesliga’s youngest ever coach at Hoffenheim and guiding the club from relegation candidates to the Champions League.
The innovative coach moved to RB Leipzig and he has since continued to enhance his reputation at the Red Bull Arena, reaching the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League in their first venture into the knockout stages.
His success has come despite the youthful nature of his Leipzig side with the club priding itself on finding and nurturing young talent, his sides playing with a high tempo both in and out of possession.
Still just 33-years-old, Nagelsmann has rightly won plenty of plaudits in his fledgling career to date and stands as arguably the brightest coaching prospect in football, one who before long will surely be handed his chance at one of Europe’s elite.
Massimiliano Allegri – 4/1
Allegri remains one of the most successful managers in world football currently without employment, having chosen to walk away from Juventus following a trophy-laden spell with the club in 2019.
The Italian departed the Bianconeri having won five consecutive league titles, including four as part of domestic doubles as the Turin side continued their dominance of Serie A.
During that time Allegri also guided Juventus to two Champions League finals, with fewer available managers possessing his track record of success both at home and in Europe.
Tactically versatile throughout his time in Turin, Allegri utilised a variety of formations including 3-5-2, 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-3, whilst the 53-year-old has previously fuelled talk of a Premier League move by embarking on English lessons.
Allegri’s style may not be the uber-attacking philosophy that will delight fans and he remains unproven outside of Italian football, though has the pedigree and experience to make an instant impression.
Mauricio Pochettino – 1/4
The shadow of Mauricio Pochettino continues to hang over Solskjaer whenever the club have had a dip in results, with the former Tottenham manager a well-respected figure amongst both the Red Devils’ hierarchy and fanbase.
Pochettino received plenty of plaudits for his work during a five-and-a-half-year spell at Spurs, turning the north London side into top four regulars and guiding the club to a first ever Champions League final during the 2018/19 campaign.
His willingness to hand opportunities to young players would also be welcomed at a club that prides itself on promoting from within, whilst his preference for high-pressing, attacking football further adds to his appeal given some of the insipid displays produced by United during Solskjaer’s reign.
The peak of Pochettino’s reign saw him establish historical underachievers Spurs as genuine contenders for the title, all whilst playing a refreshing brand of football that made the north Londoners a neutral’s favourite.
There are many who feel the Argentine tactician punched above his weight with the resources available at Spurs, and many more who believe he could thrive amid the riches of England’s wealthiest club.