Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t handle the increased expectation at Manchester United during the 2021/22 season.
While the Old Trafford hierarchy appeared to be satisfied with the club’s rise to second place in the Premier League last season, the summer’s transfer activity quickly ramped up the pressure dial.
Solskjaer’s Man Utd tenure
In other words, Solskjaer gradually bumping up United’s points tally each season was no longer considered good enough by many supporters with a title challenge now being demanded.
Watford vs Man Utd Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
As such, Solskjaer was sent packing less than 24 hours later with Ed Woodward and co looking for the kind of world-class coach who could make the most out of their recent transfer investments.
Besides, when you consider that Solskjaer never won any silverware as United boss, it’s staggering to think just how much money was spent during his time in the Old Trafford technical area.
Most spending during Solskjaer’s reign
In fact, according to Transfermarkt, United have spent more money on transfers than any other football club in the world since Solskjaer became the club’s permanent manager in March 2019.
Using the data gurus’ transfer expenditure tool to calculate spending between the 2019/20 season and the present day, United finish top of the pile with a total of £412.74 million splurged on players.
It’s admittedly a close run thing when you consider that Manchester City trail by less than £9 million, but the Citizens won two League Cups and a Premier League title in the same timeframe.
It doesn’t make for a good look for Solskjaer, United and the Glazer family, but be sure to frame it within the context of other top European clubs by checking out the 25 biggest spenders down below:
Man Utd’s alarming spending
There is so much to unpack from those figures, but before we get carried away, you might be wondering where Liverpool factor into things.
Astonishingly, the Reds are actually ranked in 42nd place with ‘just’ £119.75 million of spending, which is lower than Sheffield United, despite winning the Premier League title during this period.
And that must make it all the more gut-wrenching for United fans when they see that they’ve spent almost quadruple the amount on transfers with not a single major honour to show for their splurge.
In fact, arguably even more alarming than the £412.74m leaving their coffers is that only £117.70m has been gathered for outbound transfers in return, making for dismal net spend of minus £295m.
Naturally, only a negligible amount of blame can be left at Solskjaer’s feet, but it just goes to show that United’s experiment under the Norwegian has been an expensively fruitless one. Ouch.