Ole Gunnar Solskjaer oversaw 168 games as Manchester United boss and the 14 signings he made during his tenure at the club were a bit of a mixed bag.
Solskjaer’s best season with the club came in 2020-21 as he was able to guide the Red Devils to a second-place finish in the Premier League. While it eventually became clear that Solskjaer wasn’t the right man to take United forward, he still enjoyed some memorable moments in the dugout.
We’ve gone back through the Norwegian manager’s time with the club and have checked out where the 14 signings that he made are today.
The former Crystal Palace defender became Solskjaer’s first signing as United boss upon the defender’s arrival in 2019. Wan-Bissaka has been a fairly consistent performer over the years, albeit he perhaps hasn’t hit the heights that were first expected.
There was plenty of hype surrounding the young Welsh winger in 2019 following an eye-catching season with Swansea. United had seen enough to splash £15million on him and hand him a five-year deal.
Despite being absolutely rapid and enjoying a decent start to life at Old Trafford, James never quite cut the mustard at the top level and was promptly sold to Leeds United for a profit in 2021.
The 26-year-old is now back in the Championship with Leeds and has so far played a key role in Daniel Farke’s side pushing for promotion. We wouldn’t be surprised if he was back in the Premier League next season.
The Red Devils made Maguire the most expensive defender in Premier League history when they shelled out £80million to prize him away from Leicester. Maguire is now closing in on 200 appearances for United, having spent the last five years of his career at Old Trafford.
Throughout that time, it’s fair to say that Maguire’s form has fluctuated quite dramatically. The England international has been a point of mockery at times and a colossal defensive unit at others.
Despite watching the majority of last season from the bench, Maguire has recently earned his spot in the starting XI under Erik ten Hag and he even won the Premier League Player of the Month award for his impressive form in November.
Undoubtedly the best signing that Solskjaer made as United boss. In those first 18 months as a United player especially, Fernandes was absolutely untouchable.
The 29-year-old has now made over 200 appearances for the Red Devils and he has produced 128 goal contributions in that time which is some going.
A stopgap signing who never pulled up many trees at Old Trafford, but was probably never expected to. The Nigerian forward joined United on loan in 2020 to ease their striker shortage at the time and scored five goals in 23 appearances.
“I left Old Trafford with pride, with my head up, because it was my dream team and not everybody’s dream comes to pass. Mine came to pass so every day of my life, I’m grateful,” Ighalo told ESPN.
After leaving United, Ighalo moved to Saudi Arabia and has been hopping around the Saudi Pro League since. He now turns out for Al Wehda and will no doubt be earning a handsome weekly wage.
Prior to his move to United, the Dutch midfielder was one of the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or. At the time it seemed like Van de Beek had the world at his fingertips and his blockbuster move to Old Trafford would only propel him into further stardom.
Of course, things didn’t materialise like that in reality. Instead, the former Ajax man struggled to make an impression in the Premier League and he’s continually faded into the background during his stint with United.
With his contract set to expire in 2025, it seems more than likely that the midfielder will seek a new challenge in the upcoming year. It’s a real shame this transfer just didn’t work out.
The Uruguayan forward was a useful player in his first season with the club as he bagged 17 goals across all competitions. However, Cavani was only ever going to be a short-term solution and he already had his eye on the exit door come his second season.
Following a short stint with Valencia, Cavani returned to South America in the summer and penned a deal with Boca Juniors until the end of 2024.
United splashed a reported fee of £15.4million on the Brazilian full-back in October 2020. He had a handful of memorable moments for the club, but ultimately struggled to dislodge Luke Shaw from the starting XI.
Telles spent his final season at United out on loan before joining Al Nassr on a permanent basis in the summer. He’s now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane and Aymeric Laporte in Saudi.
Solskjaer spent £9million to land Pellistri in 2020, but the youngster never made a senior appearance under the Norwegian boss. Instead, Pellistri spent his first two years as a United player on loan with Alaves.
He’s since been handed some more opportunities under Ten Hag, but the 21-year-old still has a long way to go until he is a regular starter at Old Trafford.
Another youngster who was signed under Solskjaer for the future. The Ivory Coast winger played some of his best football last season while out on loan with Sunderland in the Championship.
He impressed so much that Ten Hag wanted to keep him around the first-team squad for the 2023-24 season, although a knee injury has sidelined him for the entirety of the season so far. There’s definitely still more to come from Diallo in a United shirt, watch this space.
Eleven years after leaving United as an upcoming youth prospect, Heaton made his return to Old Trafford in 2021. The former Burnley and Aston Villa shot-stopper has often acted as third choice and he is still on the United books today.
United had chased Sancho’s signature for some time and the hype was immense when they eventually sealed the deal in 2021. During his Borussia Dortmund days, Sancho was one of the most electrifying wingers in Europe and it’s a shame how things have turned out for him since leaving Germany.
His first couple of seasons were largely inconsistent as he struggled to showcase the same class that he had in the Bundesliga. Things then took a turn for the worse when he had a public spat with Ten Hag and he now looks more than likely to leave in January. A real pity this move didn’t work out.
The experienced French defender was solid enough in his first couple of seasons at the club, although injuries did hamper his overall progress.
Fast forward to 2023-24 and Ten Hag is reportedly willing to offload Varane next year along with the likes of Casemiro and Sancho.
Solskjaer’s last signing as United boss. Things started out so well for Ronaldo upon his return to Old Trafford, with a memorable brace against Newcastle and several eye-catching moments in the Champions League.
Despite scoring 24 goals upon his return to the club in 2021-22, several pundits questioned whether or not United were better off without the legendary Portuguese forward in the squad and things quickly hit boiling point in 2022.
Ten Hag and Ronaldo clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye from day one and his exit from the club was nothing short of explosive. CR7 then called it quits on his European career after leaving United and is now scoring goals for fun in Saudi Arabia while earning a king’s ransom.