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Ex-Norway striker gives his verdict on Solskjaer and why Man United may be the perfect club for Erling Haaland

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RB Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland

RB Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland

RB Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland

Former Premier League striker Jan Aage-Fjortoft believes his Norwegian compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces an ongoing battle to silence his doubters at Manchester United.

Solskjaer has enjoyed the best week of his reign as permanent United manager after Premier League wins against Tottenham and Manchester City, yet Fjortoft believes the pressure will be back on the United boss if his young team show signs of inconsistency once again in the next few weeks.

Champions League qualification has tended to be the minimum requirement for all United managers in recent years and with Solskjaer's team currently five points adrift of a Chelsea side sitting in fourth place in the Premier League, Fjortoft suggests that gap needs to be closed.

"The balance for Solskjaer is planning long-term and winning short-term. He needs to have both of those going his way and that is not always easy when you are working with young players who may not be consistent," former Middlesbrough and Sheffield United striker Fjortoft told Independent.ie.

"I think the leaders of the club would like this project to succeed with Ole-Gunnar, but we all know that you have to win football matches when you are Manchester United manager.

"The media, the fans, the board all put the pressure on if you don't get results at a big club like that and Ole Gunnar knows that. What he has done in the last week will certainly give him some time to build his project at United going into the next transfer window.

"Solskjaer has had some criticism at Manchester United, but he has tended to have good timing when he has won games.

"The win against Tottenham was massive. Playing against Jose Mourinho, the manager coming back to Old Trafford and trying to win a game that would have put big pressure Solskjaer at a time when people were questioning him.

"It was very symbolic for Solskjaer to beat Mourinho, for sure and now he has to keep winning big games, as that is what is expected at Manchester United."

Meanwhile, Fjortoft has revealed Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland is "almost certain" to make a move in next month's transfer window, after strong links with a switch to link-up with his former Molde manager Solskjaer at United.

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The son of former Leeds and Manchester City star Alf-Inge Haaland has made a huge impression this season as he blasted eight goals in the Champions League group stages and Fjortoft believes he believes the teenager has several options on the table.

"The links with United are inevitable given his past association with Solskjaer and I think the way United are working at the moment would be attractive for him," adds Fjortoft.

"They are looking to develop young players and are signing the best talent in Europe and there is no doubt at this moment Haaland is in that category when you see what he has done in the Champions League this season.

"It is all about picking the right club now. I expect him to move in January because any club scout who is not looking at a 19-year-old with this much potential needs to be fired, so he will have options.

"I know Borussia Dortmund are very interested, but it is up to Team Haaland now to decide what happens next. They turned down a move to Juventus when he moved to Salzburg as they felt he would develop better playing regular first-team football and they got that decision right. Now they have another choice to make."


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