Manchester United

Man Utd urged to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Antonio Conte or Zinedine Zidane

Solskjaer has won over 55% of his games since first taking charge of United back in December 2018.
Solskjaer has won over 55% of his games since first taking charge of United back in December 2018. / Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Gabriel Agbonlahor has urged Manchester United to "bite the bullet" and replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Zinedine Zidane or Antonio Conte.

The Red Devils haven't dropped outside the top three in either of the Norwegian's two full seasons in charge. However, they haven't lifted a trophy in that time either, with their closest effort losing to Villarreal in last season's Europa League final.

Even so, the powers that be at Old Trafford have continued to stick by Solskjaer, drawing criticism from some pundits and supporters.

United have suffered a pretty rough couple of weeks, losing to Young Boys in the Champions League, West Ham in the EFL Cup and Aston Villa in the Premier League. Their only solace during that time was a narrow 2-1 win away at the Hammers last weekend.

After leaving Real Madrid and Inter Milan respectively in the summer, both Zidane and Conte are available candidates for managerial posts right now.

Former Aston Villa captain Agbonlahor believes the record 20-time English champions should follow the example Chelsea set when they relieved club legend Frank Lampard of his duties and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel in January. The 34-year-old also thinks Solskjaer would be better served on the United board.

“Chelsea did it with Lampard. they got rid of Lampard, which was hard as he’s a club legend, but they got rid of him, they brought in Tuchel and look what’s happened," he told talkSPORT.

“Manchester United need to now take Ole out of it, give him a job in the board somewhere, bring in Conte - he’ll get better out of these players."

Agbonlahor questioned Solskjaer's decision-making, believing his introduction of Edinson Cavani against Villa was a mistake and that Jesse Lingard should have been brought on instead. The Uruguay international has, of course, netted 370 goals at club level across his career so far, compared to Lingard's 56.

“Even his [Solskjaer] decisions during the game, Maguire was limping for 10 minutes before he brought him off," Agbonlahor continued. "Big managers will take players off if they notice they’re not moving right.

“You need a goal in the last 10 minutes of the game and you bring on Cavani who has not really played much football this season.

“You got Lingard there who just came on against West Ham and put it in the top corner, you got Sancho who you bought for £70m. I just think some of his decisions have been miles off it.

“For me, Manchester United need to bite the bullet now. Bring in Conte who is out there, Zinedine Zidane is out there. Bring in a manager who will get better out of these players.”

Antonio Conte
Conte departed Inter Milan this summer after winning the Serie A title. / Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images

Although it's been a tough period for Solskjaer, only one of those defeats came in the Premier League, meaning United remain fourth in the table, just one point adrift of early leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devils face Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday looking to exact revenge for their Europa League final defeat, before hosting Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.