The reason Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faced criticism because of Marcus Rashford’s injury is it’s clear now that it had been an issue for a while. He was playing week in and week out and no one seemed to mention how serious it was. It’s only come to light because of the situation we’re seeing now.
I’ve seen a lot of people blaming Ole, but for me, you have to ask yourself what on earth were the medical staff doing?
What were the medical staff doing when he was finishing those games since Burnley when he first complained about his back? Because obviously, you have to be careful about how you treat a back injury. If he’s been feeling the pain after a game, what exactly were the medical team doing with him?
It’s clearly a problem that wasn’t going away or improving, and it’s obvious that because Rashford has been the talisman and goalscorer, they wanted to play him every week. From the outside looking in it feels like they were reluctant to rest him for a couple of weeks and try and mend it because they knew how crucial he was for the team.
I’ve got no doubts that Rashford himself will have wanted to play every game, too. That’s the kind of player he is. But ultimately the medical staff should be saying, no, you’re out for two weeks, you need some rest and you can’t play. That’s where there’s been a breakdown, to me. People are pointing the finger at Ole, but he will have been going off advice from his medical team.
It makes you wonder what exactly they’re doing off the pitch. He’s getting stick for bringing him on against Wolves. And you can look at that one of two ways; if Ole knew the severity of the injury then it’s a bad move but if the medics had said he was fit to play, then when United need a goal in the FA Cup, of course, he’s going to bring Rashford on.
Either way, it’s a massive blow.
A January signing is a must – you can’t trust Martial to score
The fact is, a new signing in January has now become a must. It’s not that they need to – they absolutely have to. It kind of makes Erling Braut Haaland even more embarrassing and a pain in the arse than it already was, especially after we saw his debut hat-trick. Because, if they don’t sign someone, who’s going to get you goals?
We saw the sitter that Anthony Martial missed against Liverpool. It’s simply not good enough. He should be burying that. If that had fallen to Rashford I’m confident that would’ve been a goal.
With Rashford out, you can’t trust that Martial will make up those goals.
Mason Greenwood is great, but he’s young, untried and untested. You can’t put that level of pressure on such a young player.
Cavani or Ings are the best signings United could make this window
United have to also consider who’s actually going to be available. Who in their right mind as a manager wants to give up a prolific goalscorer in January? There’s not that much available. For me, Edinson Cavani is the ideal choice, if he even wants to come to England.
If United can get hold of him, then they should go for it. He’s going to be big money and he’s the wrong side of 30 which is a bit worrying, but I’m not sure United are in the place to be picky at the moment.
Ole has to decide whether he sticks with what he’s got, or brings someone in.
For me, it’s too much of a gamble to stick with the current lot.
Fernando Llorente is a decent option, though Cavani would be my first choice. Someone like Danny Ings would also be a great shout, he’s scoring goals for fun at the moment. Obviously, Southampton fans won’t want to hear that, but if you want someone who’s in form and scoring goals, Ings could be a good, proven choice.
The thing is, whoever United go to now they’re going to be ripped off – they reek of desperation because of Rashford’s injury. Top four was already tough, whether Rashford was playing or not. It’s obviously just gotten a whole lot harder. Without signing someone to score goals this window, they’ll struggle, but if they sign Cavani I fancy them to get in the top four – that’s for sure.
Ole will regret letting Romelu Lukaku go
If Ole wasn’t already regretting letting Romelu Lukaku go, he seriously will be now. I’ll be the first to admit that I had a go at him at times, and he can’t retain the ball, but you do get 20-25 goals a season from him. United let him go without replacing him, and now they’re paying the price. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but really, Ole should’ve never let him go.