Five Manchester United players might hold key to next season's success

Man Utd are demanding silverware next season and five members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad could inspire the success


There has been plenty of divide amongst Manchester United supporters already this calendar year about just how much 'progress' they have really made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A second-place finish in the Premier League was clearly an improvement on third-place a year previous, but once again United ended a season without a trophy, ensuring their wait for any silverware will be extended to nearly five years at the very least.

Jose Mourinho sparked the debate once again with his Roma unveiling on Thursday by claiming 'what for me is a disaster someone has never done in their life'.

The Portuguese sarcastically referred to his two-and-a-half years at United, where he led the club to League Cup and Europa League triumphs, as a 'disaster', given Solskjaer is being praised for plenty despite not actually winning anything so far.

Yet under the guidance of the Norwegian there is certainly a clearer picture of what United are trying to do; attacking football from a youthful side who all seem to be pushing together as a collective rather than a group of individuals. It's certainly a world away from the disjointed final months of Mourinho's reign.

But still the lack of trophies will continue to be pushed against Solskjaer for as long as it may continue.

Yet in just a few days time there might be a very different feeling around United following the conclusion of two major international tournaments, with repercussions which could prove crucial to any successful Premier League title bid.

There is every chance five players could return to Carrington in the coming weeks with winners medals wrapped around their neck as Fred goes for glory with Brazil in Copa America while Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford and summer signing Jadon Sancho seek success with England in the European Championship.

Such a scenario could signal a significant shift in mentality if all five players were to return successful, with a United side which is lacking winners potentially boosted by international triumph.

After agonising Europa League final defeat on penalties Solskjaer himself admitted 'you need to win the finals to make it a good season' such are the intense demands of managing at an elite level.

Throughout the season the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood also publicly stated the necessity to bring silverware back to Old Trafford, even if they are international accolades to begin with.

Last season United took a big step forward by overcoming their semi-final curse to actually reach the Europa League final but there is clear acknowledgement that another big stride needs to be taken if they are to actually go one better and win a trophy.

In the year ahead there is a realistic chance Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Rashford and Sancho will all form the core of Solskjaer's most trusted XI and if they manage to scratch the itch for silverware by the end of the week it could prove to be a driving force behind future success next season.

Comments