The Reds have spent heavily over recent years in a bid to reclaim their standing at the top of English football, but to little avail
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer understands fans’ cries for further investment in the Manchester United squad – but pointed to the club’s past mistakes in the market as reason for caution.
United have spent huge sums on star names over the past few years in a bid to relive the glory days enjoyed under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria, Romelu Lukaku and other big-money arrivals have failed to live up to their billing and have since been moved on for a loss.
In comparison the Reds have been more subdued in the current window, with Donny van de Beek their only confirmed signing – although Edinson Cavani is set to complete a free transfer to add more muscle to their forward line.
And Solskjaer admits that the errors in recruitment made by predecessors David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho mean that he does not have carte blanche to spend.
“I don’t want to talk about names who didn’t have a successful career at Man Utd before moving on because there are different reasons for people not being a success at the club,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday’s clash with Tottenham at Old Trafford.
“But, yes, we now have to be very thorough and very sure when we put big money down for players.
“They have to be right for the future, they have to be right for now, and they have to be right for the group that is already here. It’s much more complex than just pointing a finger at a player and saying: ‘He’s got the quality.’
“When you sign players you go into a thorough process to make sure the ones you bring in are right for the club. It’s easy to pick out the best players in the world. Every club knows about them.
“The process of recruitment means it is vital to make sure that when you invest money it is well spent. I think the people we have involved to monitor and identify players are doing a good job.
“We’ve lost a few good players who have gone on to do well at other clubs – but we felt that we wanted to go in a different direction.
“When I came in, my view was that we had to give young players a chance, that we had to see if we could find something in our own ranks – and that has worked well.”
Despite those costly transfer mishaps, Solskjaer is not convinced that appointing a director of football, as suggested by Sevilla supremo Monchi this week, is a magic solution.
“There’s always people who want to talk about how well they’re running things and how well they’re doing,” Solskjaer added.
“We’ve all got different views on how football should be played and how clubs should be run. We’ve got good people running our club.
“There’s always discussions behind the scenes, which people don’t know about, around how we’re doing things and evaluating how we’re doing things.”
When asked if United could appoint a director of football, Solskjaer replied: “That’s not for me to say. At the moment we’re working with this structure and I feel the results last season we’ve seen a big improvement, fans looked at us and said we’re moving in the right direction so hopefully we can carry that on this season.”