Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty to stew on right now. The Norwegian may not make it through the next 24 hours with his job intact.

Previous bosses have expressed frustration at not being backed in the transfer market. Solskjaer cannot hold the same complaints.

He has spent plenty, and not particularly well for the team’s needs. The decision to blow £80 million on Harry Maguire was always a controversial choice, and it has had imperfect results.

But at least Maguire has played regularly. The same can’t be said of Solskjaer’s other signings.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
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Against Liverpool, Solskjaer lined up with £73 million signing Jadon Sancho on the bench, and did not bring him on.

Joining him was perpetual substitute Donny van de Beek, a £35 million signing who has not started a league game all season.

£15 million man Alex Telles has not started a league game either, and was not even on the bench at the weekend.

Then there are two wingers he spent money on last summer who he did not need, Amad (£19 million, who was not in the squad, and Facundo Pellistri (£7 million) out on loan.

The quintet of Sancho, Van de Beek, Telles, Amad, and Pellistri add up to circa £150 million in transfer fees (total £149 million), and this could rise if add-ons are met.

It is a crazy amount to spend on five players who Solskjaer judged by Sunday that they were not part of his plans to take on Liverpool for a crucial game.

Even discarding Amad and Pellistri as players for the future, to leave out Sancho, Van de Beek and Telles shows how the money has been invested unwisely considering United’s glaring gaps in midfield.

Van de Beek plays in the position United are short in, and still cannot get a game. Solskjaer clearly does not rate him highly enough.

A gift to the next manager

Are Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek bad players? Certainly not. But they have not found their way under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Alex Telles also deserves more time than he has been getting. Amad and Pellistri remain strong prospects for the future.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
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Solskjaer is the issue, not the players. Manchester United’s next manager will be glad to have all five on the books.

So it hasn’t been all bad. Solskjaer has done a good job with bringing these players in. He just hasn’t worked out a way how to use them, and that says more about his limitations than the players.

United’s next manager will give the likes of Sancho, Van de Beek and Telles a new lease of life.

Solskjaer ultimately did not need them, and would have been better off spending £150 million on players who would have gone straight into his preferred starting XI. Hopefully his replacement will find them useful to have around.

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