Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tough Man Utd selection decisions to make following the manner of their performance vs Paris Saint-Germain.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s game plan could not have gone any better when Manchester United heroically dumped Paris Saint-Germain out of Europe on Wednesday night.
What followed was nothing short of miraculous.
However, the manner of such heroic individual displays in Paris mean Solskjaer is now presented with a dilemma over who deserves a place in the squad for Arsenal at the weekend.
It is worth noting injuries will play a pivotal role on any team selections ahead of the upcoming March international break, but even with a fully fit squad you must now question who is in the strongest available XI.
Although much of Solskjaer’s incredible impact has been based around a midfield three of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, it was the midfield dynamism of Fred and Scott McTominay which stole the show midweek.
The midfield pair covered more ground than any other players during the European encounter, but their performances were far more than simply chasing down possession.
Wednesday night could be the coming of age for Fred in an United shirt, while McTominay showcased the tenacity and intelligence required to become a first-team regular.
Indeed with Herrera yet to sign a new contract extension at the club both of these players genuinely have a chance of being one of the first names on the team sheet in years to come.
Pogba’s anticipated return to the match-day squad will likely see Fred drop out of the starting line up this weekend, but injuries mean McTominay could well start as he continues his transformation from squad filler to genuine cult hero.
Eric Bailly’s horror show is likely to see Ashley Young return at right back this weekend, but it also poses a new problem for the front line.
In an ideal world Solskjaer would utilise both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial in a forward line sure to strike the fear deep into an Arsenal defence which is still reeling from their FA Cup defeat earlier in the year.
If that attacking duo are fit enough to feature it would surely jeopardise Romelu Lukaku’s place in the starting XI, something inexcusable based on his current form.
The Belgian forward made personal history on Wednesday night as he netted his third consecutive brace, something which he has only ever matched once, for Belgium at last summer’s World Cup
For Solskjaer the only concern with Lukaku should be whether he starts in his preferred central role or is instead utilised in a front two, something which he did to devastating affect alongside Alexis Sanchez when the two sides met in January.
There is no denying the fact that a consistent side helps a side find regular rhythm on the pitch, but perhaps the greatest achievement of Solskjaer’s reign so far is the fact each team he has put together has worked no matter who has been missing.
Although the Norwegian coach could still be without nine key players on Sunday afternoon, it is testament to his incredible ability that fans should not be worried at all.