It felt like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a dead man walking earlier this season.
Manchester United’s results were bad, while performance levels were arguably even worse.
A 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley on a cold night in January left most United fans praying that Ed Woodward would pick the phone up and contact the available Mauricio Pochettino.
But Woodward was in no doubt that Solskjaer was the right man to take United forward after the failed Jose Mourinho experiment.
And the faith of Woodward and other members of the Man Utd hierarchy has paid dividends.
Since that defeat to Burnley, United have only lost one game - against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.
The Red Devils ended up finishing third in the Premier League and remain on course to win the Europa League after seeing off LASK in the Round of 16.
Solskjaer wants to strengthen his squad ahead of the 2020-21 campaign and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho is expected to become United’s big-name arrival.
The Premier League giants have managed to shift Alexis Sanchez’s gigantic £500,000-a-week salary off their wage bill which, in turn, will free up funds for the Sancho deal.
Solskjaer’s squad rebuild is firmly underway - but how good (or bad) have his transfer decisions been since his arrival in December 2018?
Let’s begin with the players that he’s either sold or allowed to leave
Antonio Valencia (8/10)
Antonio Valencia was an excellent servant for Man Utd but the Ecuador international was well past his best during his final season at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer’s decision not to persuade the 33-year-old to stay for one more season was in the club’s best interests. He now plays for LDU Quito.
Ashley Young (8/10)
The same applies to Ashley Young, who decided to leave Old Trafford for Inter Milan back in January.
While the 35-year-old has performed well for Inter during the second half of the season, the timing of his departure suited all parties.
Marouane Fellaini (10/10)
Look, Marouane Fellaini is an effective midfielder who did his best for the Red Devils, but he was never a Manchester United player. Solskjaer knew this and acted decisively.
Fellaini is now plying his trade with Shandong Luneng in China.
Ander Herrera (6/10)
Man Utd wanted Ander Herrera to stay but the Spanish midfielder was lured to Paris Saint-Germain by the offer of a five-year contract worth £350,000-a-week.
Could Solskjaer have done more to convince Herrera to stay? Probably not.
Matteo Darmian (8/10)
How Matteo Darmian lasted four years at Old Trafford is a mystery.
The Italian full-back was hugely disappointing for Man Utd following his £12.7 million move from Torino in 2015.
Solskjaer deserves credit for moving him on to Parma, but £1.4 million was a poor financial return.
Romelu Lukaku (7/10)
It’s a shame how Romelu Lukaku’s time at Man Utd ended. The Belgian striker had lost his confidence, it seemed, during his final months at Old Trafford and no longer had the support of some of the club’s fans.
But he’s smashed it this season at Inter, scoring 30 goals in a single campaign for the first time in his career.
Alexis Sanchez (10/10)
At last, Man Utd have finally managed to get rid of the Chilean and his extortionate wages.
The Old Trafford faithful won’t miss him.
Harry Maguire (8/10)
Man Utd needed a talismanic defender in the summer of 2019 and subsequently forked out £80 million on Leicester City’s Harry Maguire.
The England international has been decent, overall, for Solskjaer’s side. But the odd mistake and unconvincing performance means an 8/10 will have to suffice.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8/10)
There’s no reason why Aaron Wan-Bissaka can’t be United’s first-choice right-back for the next decade.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed an impressive debut campaign at Old Trafford and will only get better over the forthcoming seasons.
Bruno Fernandes (10/10)
A game-changing signing for Man Utd this season, Bruno Fernandes has exceeded all expectations since his arrival in January.
Solskjaer deserves huge credit for identifying Fernandes as the solution to some of the team’s problems.
Dan James (4/10)
Despite an impressive start to life as a United player, Dan James has mostly struggled so far.
The 22-year-old has seemed a little out of his depth at times, but Solskjaer will give the Welshman another opportunity to show he can cut it at the highest level next season.
Odion Ighalo (6/10)
Odion Ighalo has come in and done a decent job for Man Utd. Five goals in 18 (mostly substitute) appearances isn’t a bad return.
Solskjaer knew signing the Nigerian striker on loan from Shanghai Shenhua was a risk, but it hasn’t backfired on the United boss.
By and large, Solskjaer's decisions related to transfers have been excellent.
It's impossible for managers to get every decision spot on - even Sir Alex Ferguson got plenty wrong when it came to the transfer market - but Solskjaer has hardly put a foot wrong so far.
If he can add Sancho to his ranks, plus one or two more quality additions, United will be a serious threat in all competitions next season.
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