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The Norwegian will stay in his position at the club until 2024.

Manchester United have extended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s contract until 2024 with an option for another year. The Premier League outfit handed a three-year extension to the former player and current manager. Solskjaer initially took the role of caretaker manager back in 2018, after Jose Mourinho was dismissed from the job.

He signed a three-year deal until 2021 after guiding the club to 14 wins in 19 games. Since then, the tactician has done an impressive job at the club. The football has been entertaining and the mood around the club is much better under his leadership.

Even though MUFC have not won a trophy under the Norwegian, the decision seems to be a step in the right direction. There are many factors that suggest extending Ole’s contract is the right decision by the club. Here are the five reasons that justify Solskjaer’s contract extension:

5. Introduction of young talents

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been brave with pumping in young talent regularly into the senior team. There is always a risk while playing youngsters, but the manager put the club’s fortunes ahead of his. Since his first game as the MUFC boss, Ole has given 16 different teenagers their debuts during his 151 games in charge.

Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood has transformed into one of the club’s best young prospects under Solskjaer (Courtesy: Premier league)

To compare that with previous managers, that is one more than Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, Ryan Giggs and David Moyes did at the club combined. They gave 15 teenagers their MUFC debut in 302 games. Players like Mason Greenwood have been given enough chances to stake their claim and improve at the same time.  

4. Revamping the playing style

Manchester United have traditionally been a club, who play attacking football. As a result, they saw sensations like Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. thrive, scoring buckets of goals. That tradition seemed to have stopped after Van Gaal and Mourinho implemented their pragmatic tactics.

The combination just did not work. A club that found immeasurable success playing an attacking brand of football, did not succeed with a conservative approach. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer learned his trade under Sir Alex Ferguson as a youth coach at the club.

He implemented Ferguson’s philosophy of playing attacking football with exciting fast-paced players. This was a major change under his reign at MUFC, which will bring more success in the future.  

3. Impressive recruitment

Another stark difference between previous managers and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the type of players coming in. While Van Gaal and Mourinho brought in players suited to their tactics, Ole brought in players in accordance with the club’s culture. There is a clear profile of the players that the club will sign and almost all of his signings have been impressive. Harry Maguire, the current skipper and Bruno Fernandes have transformed the team.

Jadon Sancho
Manchester United recently signed Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund (Courtesy: CNBC)

Jadon Sancho (21) is the latest recruit at the club, while they have also brought in players like Amad Diallo (19). Other signings include the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka (23), Facundo Pellistri (19) and more.

Clearly, the outfit is after young players who are either reaching their prime or have untapped potential. Building a team for the future is one of Solskjaer’s achievements at the club.

2. Improved results

Another factor one cannot deny is the club are performing way better under Solskjaer. In both of his two seasons as permanent manager, Manchester United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League. They finished third in the 2019/20 and second in the 2020/21 season of the Premier League.

Also, the club reached five semi-finals and a final in the cup competitions during that time. The tactician has not lifted a trophy, yet but the outfit is taking steps in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s leadership. This consistency was sorely missing under previous managers and the hierarchy have acknowledged that by giving him an extension.

1. Resetting the culture of the club

Louis Van Gaal employed possession-based football, not something MUFC were known for. Jose Mourinho sacked the support staff and analytics team, shifting to a more “hands-on” training regime for the players. Figures like Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial weren’t used efficiently due to a clash of egos and lack of confidence from the managers. All of these incidents left MUFC bereft of an identity, both on and off the pitch.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is a clear change of culture. He has a better relationship with the players. Luke Shaw has become one of the best left-backs in Europe thanks to the support and belief from Solskjaer. Mike Phelan, who worked with Sir Alex for many years previously, was brought in as an assistant coach. Bringing the persevering mentality to the club paid dividends, as the Red Devils made comeback after comeback during the 2020/21 season.

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