Ole Gunnar Solskjaer highlights Liverpool example as he stays the course with Man Utd rebuild

James Robson
Manchester United via Getty Imag

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Manchester United to take Liverpool’s route to the top – rather than trying to match Manchester City’s spending.

The under-pressure Norwegian has called for patience at Old Trafford, insisting his rebuild will take time - much like Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield revolution.

United fans are demanding a raft of signings to see the club bridge the gap to Liverpool and City.

But Solskjaer is adamant he won’t emulate Pep Guardiola’s spending – even though it paved the way to City’s domestic dominance over the past two seasons.

“For me, we do have a way of doing things,” said the United manager. “You can see other teams have done well. You can see Jurgen spent four years building his team and they’re doing well now.

“It’s not going to be a quick fix. It’s not going to be eight players in or 10 players in, in one transfer window.

“We’ve had one proper transfer window, in the summer, because the Januarys are difficult - but we are still trying to do something now.”

Guardiola made 13 major signings over his first two seasons in charge to transform City’s fortunes. And that was after inheriting a squad that already included Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

City have been rewarded with two years of unprecedented domestic rule, including claiming back-to-back titles and five of the last six major trophies in English football.

Guardiola has spent more than £600million since taking over in 2016 and is set to invest heavily again in the summer after seeing Liverpool overtake his Premier League champions this season.

While Klopp has also lavished millions on his squad – breaking records for players like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker – the German’s rebuild has been a more gradual process than Guardiola’s.

He has also made stars out of academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold and bargain-buy Andy Robertson.

Solskjaer, who is convinced he retains the backing of United’s board despite his side’s desperate form, remains adamant his methods will work.

He added: “When you start on something, you stick to that plan - for me anyway. I’m not going to change six or nine or 10 months into the job and starting believing in a different way of doing things.

"I’m going to stick to what I’ve been entrusted to do by the club - hopefully that will be good enough and they can see what we’re doing is right.

“We know how football is nowadays. But all my conversations with the club have been positive. We can’t react to all the noise outside, of course there’s always going to be criticism. You’ve got to take the criticism at this club.

“You’ve got to be stronger mentally probably than anywhere else in the world. I feel I am, the club is strong, the staff I’ve got with me are very strong mentally so we’re sticking to what we believe in and I’ve got full faith in what we’re doing.”

Injuries to Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay mean Solskjaer faces a desperate search for reinforcements before the January window closes at the end of the month.

But United’s plan was always to conduct their major business in the summer.

“I think our fans know what we have started on and I’ve been trusted to do that job by the club and for me that rebuild doesn’t go one way all the time: ‘We’re doing great, we’re doing great, we’ve winning games.’

“I’ve said it so many times - there are ups and downs. The foundation has to be laid and the culture properly set and laid down and with this group I feel I have a good core of players that believe in themselves and what we’re doing.”

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