Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United fans to be patient with Ole Gunner Solskjaer, saying rebuilding a title-winning team ‘is not an overnight job’.
The former centre-back is adamant Solskjaer is the right man to usher the club into a new era and believes he can make a similar impact as Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
But only if he is given time to change the philosophy at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer is hoping to give his squad a much-needed face lift in the summer transfer window, after a season which saw the Red Devils miss out on Champions League football and finish a huge 32 points adrift of champions Manchester City.
A number of players are expected to leave, while names including Matthijs de Ligt, Ivan Rakitic, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Joao Felix have been linked with moves to Old Trafford.
Some supporters were frustrated at the end of the season, with United’s form dovetailing after their initial improvement when Solskjaer first arrived.
But Ferdinand has insisted it will take time for United to catch up with City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
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“Man United fans have to be patient,” the Old Trafford legend told Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“The strength of Liverpool and Man City, how many points ahead they are and how far ahead they are in terms of what they’re delivering on the pitch, is huge at the moment. To close that gap is going to take some going.
“But I think it’s more than just the first-team, I think the whole philosophy of the club, there needs to be a clear picture and I’m sure Ole is in the process of creating that.
“You think of Liverpool, when Klopp came in he had time to really implement his ideas, what he believes is the right strategy to go forward from a recruitment point of view but also playing style.
“It was the same for Pep Guardiola.
“If Ole can get that time and can get that right, and get his ideas into the players with clarity, then they’re onto a good thing.
“But I don’t this is an overnight turnaround at all.”
Asked if he believes Solskjaer is the right man for the mammoth task at Old Trafford, Ferdinand replied: “Yeah I think he is.
“Obviously I know him from when I played with him, and there was a steely side to him that a lot of people who didn’t play with him wouldn’t know about.
“He’s willing to make big decisions.
“This window is going to be a lot more difficult, there is going to be more scrutiny and eyes on him as he’s got the job full-time, but I do think he’s capable.
“The recruitment has been well talked about and well documented, but it is so important for Manchester United where they’re at now, it’s a huge part they need to get right.”