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Leaked Man United transfer list shows Solskjaer has same problems as Sir Alex Ferguson

FOOTBALL By Mirror | February 11th 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sir Alex Ferguson (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

A leaked transfer list from 2004 shows Sir Alex Ferguson had much of the same problems as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does now at Manchester United.

The list, which was leaked on social media many years after Ferguson retired as United boss, contains the names of all the Red Devils players at that time.

They are each categorised by position and by value to Ferguson's squad, with stars like Ryan Giggs and Ruud van Nistlerooy listed next to their positions in the 'squad section'.

Players like Luke Chadwick, Michael Stewart, Nicky Butt and Diego Forlan are also listed next to their positions, but in the 'excess' section.

The third section contains 'youth potential' and such names as Kieran Richardson, Mads Timm, Phil Bardsley and Chris Eagles are included.

The fourth and final section shows transfer targets

United were always a strong team under Ferguson, especially during the Premier League years, but it is interesting to note that in the 2003/04 season they lost their crown to Arsenal.

Manchester United's Ruud Van Nistelrooy celebrates after scoring against Manchester City during their Premiership soccer match at Old Trafford, Manchester, England Saturday Dec. 13, 2003. (AP Photo/ Phil Noble, PA)

And it is interesting to see that in that summer, ahead of the 2004/05 season, that Ferguson's Manchester United were very much in the market for a centre-back.

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The five targets on the sheet are: Gabriel Heinze, Philippe Mexes, Vincent Kompany, Gerard Pique and one forward, Alan Smith.

United would go on to sign three of the above players: Heinze, Pique and Smith.

But neither centre-back would have a huge impact at United, with Heinze a peripheral figure for the best-part of his time at Old Trafford, and Pique playing just 12 times.

Due to Ferguson not being able to find the right players for his system, the Red Devils went two more years without winning Premier League silverware.

Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, enjoying back to back success at Chelsea.

Eventually, Ferguson was able to get the right man for the job, and in 2006 signed world-class Serbian centre-back Nemanja Vidic from Spartak Moscow.

The signing coincided nicely with the purchase of Edwin van der Sar the year previous and together, along with Rio Ferdinand, the trio formed a serious partnership.

Edwin van der Sar [Courtesy]

United would go on to win three Premier League titles on the bounce from 2007, including the Champions League in 2008.

Fast forward 13 years and Solskjaer is enjoying success at the helm at United.

For the first time in a long while the Red Devils are genuine title contenders, and are currently five points behind Man City in first place.

Pep Guardiola's City probably have more than enough about them to see off Man United and reclaim the title from Liverpool.

But if Solskjaer is on top of his business in the summer then there is no reason why United can't win a first title since 2013 next season.

And who is the Norwegian targeting? Well, like Ferguson back in 2004, he needs a centre-back to turn his nearly men into Premier League champions.

Fast forward 13 years and Solskjaer is enjoying success at the helm at United.

For the first time in a long while the Red Devils are genuine title contenders, and are currently five points behind Man City in first place.

Pep Guardiola's City probably have more than enough about them to see off Man United and reclaim the title from Liverpool.

But if Solskjaer is on top of his business in the summer then there is no reason why United can't win a first title since 2013 next season.

And who is the Norwegian targeting? Well, like Ferguson back in 2004, he needs a centre-back to turn his nearly men into Premier League champions.

Harry Maguire is a mainstay in this United team, but there are question marks over who should partner him, and Solskjaer needs to find the right man in the summer window.

One player on Solskjaer's wishlist, as revealed by Mirror Sport, is Jules Kounde.

Harry Maguire is a mainstay in this United team, but there are question marks over who should partner him, and Solskjaer needs to find the right man in the summer window.

One player on Solskjaer's wishlist, as revealed by Mirror Sport, is Jules Kounde.

The French youngster has grown in stature since his £22million arrival at Seville, and has garnered attention from a number of clubs including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

If United can win this £60million race, Solskjaer might just find his Vidic, and then who knows what the future will have in store for the Red Devils

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