Mauricio Pochettino to Man United: Six players he should try to sign if he replaces Solskjaer

Mauricio Pochettino

Time is ticking, so it seems, for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's time at Manchester United.

The Norwegian, famed for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final, was always an eyebrow-raising appointment. 

However, after a string of impressive results towards the end of last season, it has all come crashing back down to earth for Solskjaer. 

A happy and pleasant character, the United manager hasn't had the rub of the green but he's also shown himself incapable for large periods of time.

Only a few weeks ago, the Red Devils beat PSG in Europe and smacked five past Leipzig. At the same time, though, they have beat battered 6-1 by Tottenham, lost to Arsenal and also tasted defeat against Istanbul Basaksehir. The inconsistencies are clear for all to see.

The defending on show in that final match was nothing short of shambolic and is something that has caused a colossal problem for Solskjaer and his side.

United haven't won at Old Trafford in the league all season and they sit 15th in the table after six matches - winning just two games. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The hierarchy have come out and reportedly stated that they back the current boss but that hasn't stopped rumours of his sacking.

The potential replacement? Mauricio Pochettino of course.

If reports are to be believed, United have already approached the former Tottenham manager in a bid to bring him to the north-west. 

But if that does happen, who should the Premier League giants try and sign? We put together a list of six targets who, for varying reasons, should on the club's shortlist in January and next summer.

Mauricio Pochettino

Kalidou Koulibaly 

Defensively, Man United have been nothing short of a shambles for a while. The £80m addition of Harry Maguire steadied the ship somewhat last term but his career has fallen off a cliff in the 2020/21 season. 

From being held in a Greek prison to being sent off for England, his campaign has been a huge source of frustration. That being said, the 27-year-old is not the main problem in United's backline.

In Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, they have two rather inconsistent central defenders so with that in mind, they should have no other choice but to enter the market for a new one.

Top of the list should be Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly. The no-nonsense centre-back has been a rock in Serie A and there is a reason both Liverpool and Manchester City have been swarming around his services. 

Koulibaly is an elite defender and would certainly strengthen a leaky United defensive line.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Ben White

Now, hear us out on this one. If United fail to buy Koulibaly, someone who has previously been touted at £75m, they could find a cheaper alternative in Brighton defender White. 

The 23-year-old was superb for Leeds in their promotion-winning season from the Championship, performing 2.5 interceptions a game and winning 2.8 aerial duels per match. On top of that, he is a ball-playing defender, completing 84.3% of his career passes. 

Of course, he is still very young, but he has an immense ceiling and has hit the ground running with the Seagulls this season in what is his first top-flight campaign. The youngster has been targeted by a host of top clubs in the Premier League and has been touted to become an England regular. It would be a canny addition from Pochettino.

Ben White and Harry Kane

Declan Rice

United have a stacked midfield and it has become one of the great puzzles that Solskjaer is trying to work out. Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes all started against Arsenal last weekend as new signing Donny Van de Beek struggles to get a start. 

He can play in a deep-lying role but what the Red Devils are missing is a younger and more consistent ball winner. They do have Scott McTominay, a particular favourite under the current management but if they really want to challenge at the top table again, finding a real enforcer should be one of the main priorities. 

The man they should target? Declan Rice. The West Ham midfielder has been a target for Chelsea of late but now an established England international, he is proving himself to be one of the finest defensive midfielders in the country. He won 3.1 tackles a game last season and has a career average in that department of 2.4. That's compared to McTominay's career ratio of just 1.2.

Rice would clearly be an upgrade. 

Declan Rice

Jadon Sancho 

If you thought you could get through another United piece without seeing Sancho's name then think again. His potential transfer to Old Trafford has been a long saga that even with a new manager potentially walking through the door is failing to go away.

Borussia Dortmund stated they wanted £108m for his services in the summer and that was a fee far too steep for United. However, if we're talking about elite players that could realistically move to United, then Sancho is top of the list. 

He could take their attack to a new level, especially after contributing to 40 goals last term.

Jadon Sancho

Harry Kane

After netting his 200th goal for Spurs this week, Kane's heart will be set in Tottenham, and Tottenham only. Though, if a manager is ever going to prise him away from north London it would surely be Pochettino. The duo had a fabulous relationship when they were both at Spurs and as we know, United are long-term admirers of the striker. 

He is one of the most emphatic finishers in the Premier League with six in seven games this term. Furthermore, he's also become a creative force and has eight assists for the season. He'd be a no-brainer for any club in world football if they have the finances. 

If anyone can make United title challengers again, it would be Kane.

Harry Kane

Raul Jimenez

Obviously, Kane is an incredibly unlikely signing so we thought we better bring an alternative into the equation. One striker that has been linked with United is Wolves striker Jimenez. The Mexican is a constant threat and has proven himself to be one of the most complete forwards in the top-flight.

He can run with the ball, win aerial battles and most importantly, he can score goals - Jimenez has found the net four times this term and scored 21 in 2019/20. 

If we're talking about cheaper alternatives to Kane, there are few better options than the Mexico international. 

Raul Jimenez

So there have it, six players that Pochettino should really think strongly about if he signs on the dotted line and becomes Man United's next manager. Be prepared for another hefty spending spree, United supporters.

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