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Manchester United transfer clear out will give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new problem – Richard Fay

Manchester United had begun to make some genuine progress this season.

An abject start saw them ride the testing turbulence and they looked to be in cruise control under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prior to football’s postponement last month.

Even without games to be played the hard work has not stopped at Old Trafford, and plans are well under way as United look to continue with their rebuild at the unknown end of the season.

Much of the excitement regards the players available to United once the transfer market finally reopens, but it could be the Old Trafford departures lounge which provides the most compelling viewing, and it could force United into bending their transfer strategy once again.

“Many of these players haven’t felt the winning feeling at this club, what it is to be at this club when you win,” Solskjaer explained at the start of the season.

United have still been able to recruit some top talent since the Norwegian returned to the club on a permanent basis, but the lack of silverware is telling throughout the first-team squad.

Although it isn’t a necessity to have previous Premier League winners in your first-team it certainly helps sell Old Trafford as an attractive transfer prospect for summer targets, and that experience can prove vital in enduring a season as tiresome as this.

The January window brought some much-needed change with the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, but still neither of them have ever won a league title in their senior career. Fernandes’ success with Portugal in the Nations League and his cup wins at Sporting are still welcome additions, but this United side are still lacking in experience.

“Yes David (De Gea) won the league,” Solskjaer added. “Ashley (Young) has won the league and Phil Jones and Chris Smalling they have won the league here. But it’s not been consistent like we were, then this club is a fantastic place to be.”

Of that quartet, club captain Young has already departed while it looks like both Jones and Smalling will be allowed to follow suit once the transfer market reopens. De Gea’s role at the club is only going to get bigger.

United’s biggest loss might well be financially if the season were to be voided, but in the long run it is the prospect of unfulfilled potential which could have a bigger effect on their progress under Solskjaer.

Half of the squad which featured in the Europa League final three years ago are no longer permanently at the club, with the majority of them far down the current pecking order. Losing the chance to win a trophy this season will only hamper the development of their big game approach, both mentally and tactically.

This summer United will need to spend wisely if they are to build upon the positive foundations they have laid so far, but a lack of experience suggests it’ll be wise to sign an older head again.

Sticking to the new transfer philosophy of signing top young talent might fulfill the long term aims of the club, but loosening those restraints could prove pivotal in securing players that could ensure success follows immediately too.

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