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5 managers Manchester United could have appointed instead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United vs Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester United vs Arsenal - Premier League
Varun Totadri
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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a massive impact at the club since he was hired midway through the 2018-19 campaign. After leading United to 14 victories in 19 games that season, Solskjaer was given permanent charge of the team in the summer of 2019.

Since taking over the reins at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has led Manchester United to a third-place finish in the Premier League in his first full season with the club. A second-place finish in the league last season was an improvement.

The 48-year-old has changed United's recruitment and transfer policy. The Red Devils have signed many top-quality players since the Norwegian took over, making the team contenders for the Premier League title.

The Norwegian has also led United to four domestic Cup finals, a Europa League semi-final and a Europa League final. But he is yet to win a trophy during his two and a half years at Manchester United.

Despite United signing their top targets and promoting many academy players, the club is yet to hit the heights expected of them under Solskjaer. United signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho this summer, But United haven't played at the level as Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

That has led fans and pundits to believe that Solskjaer's lack of tactical acumen could be the main reason for the club's struggles. The former Manchester United striker lacked any real experience of managing an elite club prior to being hired by the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accused of "self-preservation" in scathing verdict on Man Utd boss | @DiscoMirror mirror.co.uk/sport/football… https://t.co/PVCpDXBJgT

Many fans believe United could have won a few trophies by now had they signed a manager with the experience of winning titles and managing big clubs. On that note, here's a look at five managers Manchester United could have hired instead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:


#5 Carlo Ancelotti

RCD Espanyol vs Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander
RCD Espanyol vs Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander

One of the most successful managers of all time, Carlo Ancelotti has won five league titles in as many countries. The Italian is also one of only three managers to win three Champions League titles.

Carlo Ancelotti was the manager of Italian side Napoli during the summer of 2019 when Solskjaer was handed the permanent reins of United. The 62-year-old was often linked with a return to the Premier League after his stint with German giants Bayern Munich ended in 2017.

Ancelotti's attack-minded style of play and experience of working with big-name players made him one of the most ideal candidates for the top job at United. The former Chelsea boss left Napoli in December 2019, and surprisingly chose to join Everton. He now manages Real Madrid.


#4 Massimiliano Allegri

Udinese Calcio vs Juventus - Serie A
Udinese Calcio vs Juventus - Serie A

Massimiliano Allegri was linked with a host of Premier League clubs after leaving Juventus in the summer of 2019. That includes the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

The Italian led Juventus to five Serie A titles, four Copa Italia, and two Champions League finals during his five seasons at the club. He also helped develop players like Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala during his time in Turin.

Manchester United have identified Massimiliano Allegri as an option to take the helm at Old Trafford in the summer, according to reports...The right man? 🤔 https://t.co/WwsCHJFUAx

Massimiliano Allegri's pragmatic style of play, though, was not considered to be the 'United way'. The 54-year-old's experience of managing top players and winning trophies could have made him a more ideal candidate for the United top job than Solskjaer, though.

#3 Luis Enrique

Italy vs Spain – UEFA Nations League 2021 Semi-final
Italy vs Spain – UEFA Nations League 2021 Semi-final

Luis Enrique is widely considered to be one of the best tacticians in the game. The former Barcelona and current Spain manager won two La Liga, three Copa del Reys and a Champions League during his three seasons with Barcelona. The 51-year-old was also able to get the best out of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Enrique was able to lead an inexperienced Spain side to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they lost on penalties to eventual champions Italy. The 51-year-old has also led Spain to the final of the 2021 UEFA Nations League, where La Roja will face France.

Why does the Spanish national team play better than Barcelona and Real Madrid? Luis Enrique: "That's a very good question. But I won't answer it." https://t.co/s6rQzaaea8

Manchester United could consider Luis Enrique as an option if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fails to deliver silverware in the coming months.


#2 Antonio Conte

FC Internazionale Milano vs Udinese Calcio - Serie A
FC Internazionale Milano vs Udinese Calcio - Serie A

Antonio Conte is currently considered to be one of the best managers in the game. The former Chelsea manager led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles, Chelsea to a Premier League title and an FA Cup prior, and Inter Milan to a Serie A title.

After leaving Chelsea in 2018, Conte spent a year away before returning in 2019 to coach Inter Milan. United rejected the chance to sign Conte, instead preferring to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

During his two-year stint with Inter, Conte led the club to the final of the Europa League in his first season. He then led the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in eleven years.

Conte helped rejuvenate the career of Romelu Lukaku, and developed youngsters such as Achraf Hakimi, Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella during his time with the Nerazzurri.

Former #Chelsea boss Antonio Conte 'would be ready to return' to the Premier League amid links to Newcastle United.[via @Gazzetta_it]

Conte is considered one of the top candidates to replace Solskjaer at United if the Norwegian is unable to produce results this month.


#1 Mauricio Pochettino

Paris Saint-Germain vs RC Strasbourg - Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Paris Saint-Germain vs RC Strasbourg - Ligue 1 Uber Eats

Mauricio Pochettino was one of the most highly rated Premier League managers before his departure from Tottenham Hotspur in November 2019.

The Argentine failed to lead Spurs to a trophy. But he helped the club to four consecutive top-four finishes in the Premier League, and took them to the Champions League final in 2018-19.

The current PSG boss was heavily linked with United after the 2018-19 season, but United appointed Solskjaer instead.

Manchester United have reportedly approached Mauricio Pochettino... Gossip: bbc.in/2GvvCwG #bbcfootball https://t.co/hpaUJY41bM

With Pochettino well settled in his role at PSG now, he is unlikely to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United anytime soon.

Edited by Bhargav
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