Ole Solskjaer named Manchester United manager: Three players he improved
Manchester United have appointed Solskjaer on a permanent deal
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 28/03/19 10:48am
The news that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s caretaker stint in charge of Manchester United has become a permanent arrangement only underlines the impressive job that the Norwegian has done since his arrival just before Christmas.
It reflects the dramatic upturn in fortunes that Solskjaer has overseen during his time in charge - picking up 32 points from 13 Premier League games and taking the team into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
None of that could have been achieved had Solskjaer not been able to reignite the form of many of the key players at Old Trafford. Three men stand out because of their improvement after struggling under Jose Mourinho earlier in the campaign…
If there is one player who personifies the change in mood at Manchester United it is surely Paul Pogba. The tensions with Mourinho were well documented and while he did contribute under Solskjaer's predecessor, his form under the new man has been remarkable.
Pogba has been involved in 16 goals in his 17 appearances under the current United boss, averaging a goal involvement every 94.5 minutes in that period. Sergio Aguero is the only Premier League player to have been involved in more goals in all competitions in that time.
The form of Marcus Rashford upon Solskjaer's arrival was similarly impressive. The forward revelled in a central role initially, scoring in five of the first seven games, and his record now stands at eight goals in 18 games under the new man.
Both his minutes per goal and his minutes per goal involvement ratios have improved under Solskjaer, with his shot conversion rate, something that came under intense scrutiny under Mourinho, jumping from 10.5 per cent to 13.8 per cent.
It took time for Romelu Lukaku to get his opportunity to shine under Solskjaer but he too has enjoyed himself under the new regime. He had struggled under Mourinho earlier in the season, scoring only six times and providing one assist in his 22 appearances.
But the goals soon returned under Solskjaer, scoring within two minutes of coming on in his first two games and, more recently, scoring twice in three consecutive matches - culminating in that astonishing 3-1 win away to Paris Saint-Germain.
Management is about many things but few can be as important as getting the best from the talent available. Pogba and Lukaku are the two most expensive signings in the club's history, while Rashford is the jewel in the academy. Solskjaer has turned things around for all three.