Mountains are there to be climbed. The words uttered by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a 2-0 home defeat to PSG left Manchester United on the brink of a Champions League exit. What happened next will live long in the memory as one of the all-time great comebacks. Two goals from Romelu Lukaku and a 94th minute penalty scored by Marcus Rashford put the Reds through on away goals and sent the fans into euphoria. But what has happened since that night in Paris.
Fast forward 12 months and the club has been through its fair share of ups and downs. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the permanent manager of United off the back off his unbelievable spell as caretaker boss and it’s safe to say the fanbase are divided on whether this was the right move.
There’s been big changes to the team as well. Romelu Lukaku’s time as United’s number 9 came to an end after being deemed surplus to requirements. The Belgian joined Inter in the summer and is seemingly enjoying his time in Italy. Fan favourite Ander Herrera decided to leave on a free to that night’s opponents PSG and has found himself operating as a makeshift right back over in France. Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling were both shipped out on loan to Serie A, with the Chilean joining up with Lukaku at Inter, and Smalling re-establishing himself as a good centre half at Roma and in January, long-time servant Ashley Young left United to go and join Inter as well. Most fans would agree that the transfers were necessary and helped shift some deadwood and clear up some wages.
There’s been some big recruitment since that night as well. Boyhood United fan Harry Maguire joined for a world record fee for a defender, and alongside new acquisition Aaron Wan-Bissaka has helped transform the United defence, helping them keep the second most clean sheets in Europe. Young Welsh winger, Daniel James joined in the summer as well and has put in a shift on the right-hand side of United’s attack. Bruno Fernandes FINALLY joined the club in January and the Portuguese Magnifico has enjoyed an illustrious start to his United career alongside shock January loan signing Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian R9 has immediately justified his signing by scoring 4 goals in 3 starts.
Mason Greenwood has been given his chance this season as well, from having to have his shirt printed by the PSG printers last year, to scoring 12 goals in his first full campaign for United, it’s been a positive season so far for the young striker.
In short, of course there has been changes from that night 12 months ago, whether anyone could have predicted these changes is another thing. Not many fans would have banked on United signing an ex-Watford striker from a team in China. It seems that Solskjaer has identified a plan and for once it seems that our transfers have a semblance of strategy about them rather than the hack and slash approach operated by previous managers. Let’s see where we’re at in another 12 months.