If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still to lead Manchester United to a trophy since his appointment as manager, in restoring their identity he has perhaps achieved something more valuable. As is common for a club appointing several managers in quick succession, as United did with David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and then José Mourinho in the years after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, those managers’ contrasting transfer policies left them with an unbalanced squad, and it is only under Solskjaer that the signings they have made have consistently resembled those Ferguson favoured.
In Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, Solskjaer has recruited players whose finest years are expected to be in front of them; in Brandon Williams, Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood he has also had faith in those the club’s youth system has produced. United again play with pace, width, and numerous attacking players. The time will come when he will need to deliver trophies and to oversee a convincing challenge for the Premier League title, but Solskjaer has given himself a promising platform on which to build.