Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford start, Cristiano Ronaldo stays, but no room for Donny van de Beek still -Mauricio Pochettino’s Manchester United line-up?

Manchester United took their time after a string of humiliating defeats, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally been removed as the team’s manager, and the search for his replacement is officially on.

A 4-1 Vicarage Road humbling by Claudio Ranieri’s Watford saw the curtain fall on Solskjaer’s time at United, ending his near three-year tenure trophyless.

Solskjaer reached the end of the road, with Michael Carrick taking over on an interim basis, and he could remain there until the summer if Ferguson has his say
Getty
Fergie is desperate for Pochettino in the Old Trafford dugout according to talkSPORT sources

The Manchester giants lost out on one of the very best out of work coaches when Tottenham snapped up Antonio Conte at the start of November, but they could end up waiting for a man connected to Spurs.

talkSPORT sources understand that Sir Alex Ferguson is pushing for Mauricio Pochettino to take the reins, and the club may be happy to wait until next summer for the current Paris Saint-Germain boss.

It’s also believed the Argentine is ‘desperate’ to take the job at Old Trafford with the fact his family are still based in London a huge factor in his desire to return to the Premier League.

Pochettino spent almost seven years in the Premier League between 2013 and 2019, first at Southampton, before turning Spurs into a trophy challenger domestically and in Europe.

Poch hasn’t had the best start to life back in France, and could be tempted to move back to England
AFP
Pochettino had some huge highs at Spurs, and could go even further with big financial backing at United
getty

The 49-year-old was regularly linked with United over the years with Fergie’s adoration well known, but with the club holding onto Solskjaer until now, the Argentine opted to join PSG, who he starred for as a player.

Things haven’t gone swimmingly so far in Paris though, with Pochettino losing the Ligue 1 title to Lille last season, before exiting the Champions League with a limp semi-final defeat against Manchester City.

His poor start to life back in France saw him linked to a Tottenham return, but things have improved this season thanks to a blockbuster summer that saw the arrivals of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma among others.

PSG sit 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, but that hasn’t deterred Ferguson from trying to bring him back to England.

Unlike Solskjaer’s 2021/22 United, Pochettino’s teams are known for intensity and speed, and here’s what that could look like should he end up at Old Trafford.

Sancho looked world class in Germany, but is yet to register a goal or assist with United, could Poch re-awaken the £73million man?
AFP

How Manchester United could look under Pochettino

As a manager famed for turning youngsters into stars, United’s line-up would likely see Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho given the opportunity to impress, coming inside to support Cristiano Ronaldo in a narrow 4-2-3-1.

Calling back to Pochettino’s time with Tottenham, Rashford would operate in a similar manner to Dele Alli, working hard on the left but getting up alongside Ronaldo when possible.

Sancho would then drift in alongside Fernandes to help create chances for the duo.

Paul Pogba might find himself in a role similar to that of Mousa Dembele, who drew opponents towards him and broke the lines, allowing Spurs to create counter attacking opportunities.

It’s slim pickings in defence with a back four that largely sorts itself, but there would be extra impetus on those in front to help carry the load.

There is no doubt Luke Shaw can operate under former boss Pochettino, but it remains to be seen whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka would flourish given his attacking deficiencies.

Rashford and Sancho, it’s time to step up and set the standard

Get The EDGE

talkSPORT EDGE is the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content.

Stay up to date with everything going on in the football world with breaking news, live scores and in-app betting.

How can I get it?

It’s available on iPhone and Android devices.

For iPhone, download talkSPORT EDGE via the App Store here.

For Android, download talkSPORT EDGE via the Play Store here.