Rated: every player signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United

The Norwegian signed 15 players during his time as Manchester United manager, but how good have they been for the club?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure as Manchester United manager ended on 21 November 2021 after almost three years in charge of the club.

During that time he secured a second-place finish in the Premier League and reached the final of the Europa League in 2021.

Upon his arrival, initially as caretaker manager, then later as permanent manager, Solskjaer added his own stamp on the squad with several high-calibre signings made.

In total, 15 senior players were brought in by the Norwegian and ManchesterWorld has rated every single one.

Daniel James scored his debut for United. Credit: Getty.

Daniel James


Solskjaer’s first signing as Red Devils’ manager was James. The Wales international joined United from Swansea City in June 2019 for an initial £15m with an additional £3m in add-ons.

James’ career at Old Trafford lasted just two seasons, before the 24-year-old was sold to Leeds United this summer for a reported £25m.

Seen as a player with a lot of potential, the winger’s arrival at Old Trafford started emphatically, with three goals in his first four games. However, as time went on, the Welsh international’s form dropped and he became more of a rotational figure.

In 74 appearances for the Red Devils, James scored nine goals and assisted his team-mates on the same number of occasions - not the form of a player who could hold down a place in the starting XI.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

When Solskjaer acquired Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in 2019, United supporters were delighted a young, promising right-back had been brought to the club.


Now in his third season with the Red Devils, opinions of the 24-year-old are mixed, with fans feeling frustrated by his performances, especially this season.

However, with Rangnick now in charge, the German’s organisation and extensive analysis of what he wants from his squad, is exactly what Wan-Bissaka needs to get back on track.

Harry Maguire

The defender has been an ever-present member of United’s team since he was signed by Solskjaer from Leicester City for £80m in 2019, making him the world’s most-expensive defender. For many, that fee has not been justified by his on-field performances in a Red Devils’ shirt.

Maguire was made captain within a few months of joining the club. Credit: Getty.

Maguire’s biggest problem is his mobility when on the ball. If under pressure from the opposition, he seems to struggle to clear the ball from danger, losing it in the process and potentially leading to a goal for United’s opponents.


He was made captain by Solskjaer and, although he has been vocal on the pitch, his organisation has led to several mistakes between him, David De Gea and Luke Shaw - ultimately resulting in conceding goals.

Now 28, Maguire has to impress Rangnick in order to remain a key figure, or fears being dropped if he isn’t consistent enough.

Bruno Fernandes

The No.18 joining the club was perhaps the best piece of business Solskjaer did while at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese international has been fantastic for United, netting 45 goals and grabbing 34 assists in just over 100 appearances.

His quality has been paramount to the club finishing in the top three in the last two seasons and it will continue to play a huge role if they want to be there come the end of this campaign.


How does Bruno Fernandes fit into the 4-2-2-2 shape? Credit: Getty.

Nathan Bishop

The signing of Bishop is hard to judge, given the fact he is yet to make his senior debut for the club, despite joining in January 2020.

Bought by Solskjaer from Southend, Bishop has played for United’s Under-23 team, before joining Mansfield on loan this season.

Now 22, it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever get the opportunity to feature as a regular first-team player for the club.

Odion Ighalo


The only player on the list who was signed by Solskjaer on loan, Ighalo was a surprise addition to the squad, but his stint at Old Trafford lasted just a year.

In that time he made 23 appearances, scoring five goals - most memorably a left-footed volley against LASK in the Europa League round-of-16 win.

Due to his desire to impress for his boyhood club, Ighalo became something of a minor cult hero while at United.

Donny van de Beek

Things just don’t seem to be working out for Van de Beek at the Red Devils, with the Dutchman signed by Solskjaer from Ajax in 2020.


He’s struggled for game time since moving to Manchester, but when given the opportunity, hasn’t shone as many thought he would.

Donny van den Beek has been a bit part player for Manchester United this season

The club’s bloated squad, especially in midfield, would suggest that seeing him in a United shirt regularly isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

If given regular football, there is potential for him to show his ability, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the club cut their losses and look to move the 24-year-old on soon.

Alex Telles

The left-back is another player signed by Solskjaer who has made minimal appearances since joining in 2020.


The Brazilian was always going to struggle for minutes on the pitch, regardless of who was in charge, due to Luke Shaw being the first choice left-back.

Despite this, when called upon, the 29-year-old has been a good performer for the Red Devils, with his positioning the only downside.

Edinson Cavani

The experienced Uruguayan has been hugely impressive since joining the Red Devils on the summer 2020 transfer deadline day.

Cavani, when fit, is a pivotal member of the Red Devils’ squad, making 49 appearances so far.

His goal return has been solid as well, with the striker netting 19 times. The 34-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season and Ralf Rangnick has already spoken about his admiration of the No.21.


Cavani has been hugely impressive since joining United in 2020. Credit: Getty.

Facundo Pellistri

Another who is yet to make his senior debut for the club, Pellistri’s arrival is hard to judge.

He has been on loan with Spanish side Deportivo Alaves since last year, but is yet to score for the club.


A January signing from Atalanta in 2020, although the deal was confirmed a few months prior, Amad could have a big future ahead of him with the Red Devils.


Still only 19, the winger has had minimal game time under both Solskjaer and Rangnick, but a loan move away from the club could help develop him further and push on for more appearances at United.

Tom Heaton

The beginning of the 2021/22 season saw the return of Heaton to the club after 11 years away.

Solskjaer signed the 35-year-old on a free transfer from Aston Villa and utilised him as a third-choice goalkeeper.

Having only featured for 22 minutes between the sticks for the club, his signing is hard to judge, however, he did concede in that short time.

There’s no expectation for Heaton to come and challenge De Gea or Dean Henderson for the No.1 spot on the teamsheet.


Jadon Sancho

Sancho’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund this summer came after several years of the winger being linked with United.

Solskjaer splashed out £73m on the 21-year-old, who has scored two goals and is yet to register an assist since joining the club.

So far, his arrival has been underwhelming, however, given time and freedom, it can be expected that things will only improve for Sancho.

Raphael Varane


The defender is arguably one of the world’s best centre-backs and will be a fantastic signing for United if he can stay fit and show the consistency he had at Real Madrid.

One of Solskjaer’s last pieces of business as the club’s manager could very well help maintain the Red Devils as a top-four club.

Hit with several injuries so far, thus only making 12 appearances, with time, Varane can add the much-need stability and organisation United crave in defence.

Ronaldo scored a brace in his first game back for the club. Credit: Getty.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Another signing that many wouldn’t have expected, but one most supporters are delighted with.


As expected, the 36-year-old has been the main scoring threat in United’s squad this season, with him netting 14 goals so far.

Ronaldo’s return can only be a positive thing for younger forwards such as Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, with the Portuguese international able to push the duo over the coming years.