Manchester United have spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer market since Sir Alex Ferguson retired but they have not produced a squad with players who have played at the peak of their powers on a consistent basis.
That inevitably raises questions about the personality of the players in their ranks and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to know that.
Both Solskjaer and Scott McTominay have made mention of the personality of new signing Bruno Fernandes.
So how important is it for a Manchester United player?
What did they say?
After signing Fernandes, the Daily Mail quoted Solskjaer saying: “Everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team.
“Most importantly he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see.”
Meanwhile, Scott McTominay told Sky Sports about Fernandes and fellow new-boy Odion Ighalo: “They are really, really nice guys. First and foremost they are good people. That’s what we need at this football club.
“We need people who are good friends, obviously, who can go out for dinner for everybody as well.”
How important is it?
There’s little doubt that United have bought players in the past who have come for the money and haven’t put their all in for the shirt.
It was important for Solskjaer to move the club away from that culture, but there are other issues at play.
It is tough to think of a United signing who has enhanced his reputation at the club since David de Gea in 2011. Have United exclusively signed players with weak personalities in that time?
The culture of decline at the club combined with the pressure playing for United brings has evidently ground down many players down the years.
It is important that United have good types in the dressing room but they have to be good footballers first and foremost.
Solskjaer’s change of emphasis is yet to bring consistency of tempo, energy and results on the pitch, so there’s clearly more to it than having the ‘right’ types in the ranks – but it’s a step in the right direction for United.
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