Tottenham 0-3 Manchester United: Solskjaer press conference
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Manchester United remain interested in Mauricio Pochettino ahead of tonight’s Champions League clash with Atalanta. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eased some of the pressure on himself when his side beat Tottenham on Saturday night. But, despite that result, the Norwegian’s position remains precarious in the eyes of many supporters.
This was meant to be a big season for United after signing the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Solskjaer’s side have struggled across all competitions so far.
United are eight points behind Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title, while they’re already out of the Carabao Cup.
Defeat tonight to Atalanta would be a hammer blow to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, too.
So with United struggling, Pochettino has once again been linked despite currently being contracted to Paris Saint-Germain.
Express Sport will now take a look at how United would line up if he walked in the door as Solskjaer’s replacement.
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Goalkeeper: De Gea
At the end of last season, David De Gea was being written off.
He’d struggled in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal and, with Dean Henderson breathing down his neck, faced a big task to cling onto the No 1 jersey.
However, the Spain international appears to be back to his blockbuster best so far.
De Gea has been a shining light amid the darkness for Solskjaer and, therefore, Pochettino would have no reason to drop him.
It wouldn’t even be a stretch to say De Gea has the safest seat at Old Trafford at the current moment in time.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw
Pochettino liked a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system during his time at Tottenham.
So, consequently, it’s feasible he’d go with four at the back should he take the reins at Old Trafford.
Given United’s lack of strength in defence, it would probably the usual suspects picked.
That means Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane at centre-back, with Victor Lindelof on the bench.
And, in the full-back slots, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw would be expected to get the nod.
Shaw, it’s worth noting, previously sparkled under Pochettino at Southampton.
Midfield: Fred, Fernandes, Van de Beek
A manager without ties to Paul Pogba would probably leave him on the bench given his reluctance to sign a new contract.
Therefore, if Pochettino took over, it may open a door to Donny van de Beek.
The Netherlands international was linked with Tottenham during Pochettino’s time at the club and he could experience an upturn in fortunes under somebody other than Solskjaer.
Van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes could be partners in crime in the attacking midfield positions.
And United could then use Fred in a deeper role to offer their defence more protection.
Forwards: Greenwood, Ronaldo, Rashford
Should Pochettino take over, he’d inherit another squad filled with star-studded forwards.
And, given his fondness for youth, he may use Mason Greenwood on the right wing.
Jadon Sancho has struggled so far and while Amad has potential, there’s a sense the youngster needs more time to develop before seriously challenging for a starting spot.
On the left Pochettino would potentially deploy Rashford, especially given his fine form of three goals in four games.
And, up top, Cristiano Ronaldo would be unleashed. There’s a strong case to start Edinson Cavani but, at the end of the day, Ronaldo is Ronaldo…
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