Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's nine player sales at Manchester United ranked from best to worst

Man United have offloaded a number of big names under Solskjaer in his bid to reboot the squad. The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manch...

Man United have offloaded a number of big names under Solskjaer in his bid to reboot the squad.


The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United's interim boss raised eyebrows after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years and Solskjaer has so far justified the club's decision to install him as permanent manager in March 2019..

Solskjaer has signed some exciting talents, with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani hitting the ground running in Manchester.

The former Molde coach has also been keen to shift the deadwood in the Reds' squad, something he has done largely successfully in his stint in the United hot seat.

In this article, MEN Sport ranks the sales Solskjaer has made from best to worst.

1. Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo's United career was an inconsistent one. The Argentine defender was marred with injuries during his stay at Old Trafford and Solskjaer decided it would be best to move him on to free up some money considering his side's hefty wage bill.

Rojo was initially loaned to Estudiantes before joining Boca Juniors on a permanent basis last summer, where the 31-year-old has continued to struggle with fitness problems.

2. Alexis Sanchez

United fans rejoiced when Alexis Sanchez swapped Arsenal for United in January 2018.

However, the Chilean didn't live up to the hype, struggling to replicate the form he had shown at the Emirates with Solskjaer deciding to sell him to Inter last summer on a free transfer despite still having two years left on his contract with United.

Sanchez played a role in Inter's title run this season, bagging seven league goals and registering five assists despite starting just 12 games, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a United fan who believes offloading Sanchez was a mistake, especially when considering the monstrous wage he was on.

3. Antonio Valencia

Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia had an extremely successful career in Manchester, featuring a total of 339 times across a 10-year stint.

Valencia, initially a winger, was successfully converted into a right-back by Mourinho before finding himself on the bench when Solskjaer took charge.

The Norweigan then decided it would be best to offload Valencia, declining to take up the one-year extension United could activate in his contract - a wise decision given his age and waning influence.

4. Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Versatile Dutch defender Fosu-Mensah showed great promise when he broke onto the scene with a fantastic performance in a 3-2 win against Arsenal in February 2016.

However, the youngster struggled for consistent first-team minutes and after loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham Solskjaer decided to let him go in January of this year.

Fosu-Mensah departed for Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen in a move that suited all parties, although, the £1.5 million United received for him was perhaps a little low.

5. Matteo Darmian

Italian full-back Darmian joined United in the summer of 2015 with big expectations following a successful spell at Torino, with many Serie A experts heralding him as the next Antonio Cabrini.

However, during his spell in Manchester, Darmian never hit the heights that he managed in Turin before eventually moving back to Italy to play for Parma in a £2.5 million deal.

The 31-year-old spent last season on loan with Inter Milan, playing 33 times as the Nerazzurri lifted the Serie A trophy for the first time in over a decade.

6. Ashley Young

Darmian was joined by a host of former United team-mates at Inter, including former Reds captain Ashley Young.

Young enjoyed a successful nine-year career at Old Trafford but was moved on in January 2020 for £1.5m, a decent fee for a 34-year-old.

7. Chris Smalling

Upon the arrival of Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019 Solskjaer decided to move on Chris Smalling, who initially joined Roma on loan before leaving on a permanent basis 12 months later.

Smalling has been a solid player in Rome, featuring 58 times across his two seasons in the Italian capital and perhaps it would have been a wise move to keep him as a squad player given Eric Bailly's injury woes.

8. Ander Herrera

Tough-tackling midfielder Ander Herrera enjoyed a successful United career and was a fan favourite during his stint in Manchester, even winning the 2016/17 Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

Given his success at United, many supporters were left disappointed when the Spaniard departed in July 2019, leaving on a free transfer to PSG.

Herrera was perhaps not the elite-level holding midfielder that United are looking to sign this summer, but he would've been alternative to the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay in that role over the last two seasons.

9. Romelu Lukaku

It may seem unfair to brandish Romelu Lukaku as Solskjaer's worst sale given United received £66million for his servicesbut that is testament to how good the Belgian has been since leaving for Inter.

The 28-year-old has showcased his incredible ability in front of goal, notching 64 goals and 16 assists in just 95 games for the San Siro club.

Given Lukaku's improvements to his all-around game and United's search for a long-term striker, perhaps it would've been wise to stick with him.

James Wilson and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson also left United while Solskjaer was in charge but have been excluded from this list as they didn't make an appearance under the manager.

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