After a trophy-less season in 1995 Alex Ferguson sold three of his biggest stars in Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis.
He wanted to re-build but didn’t want to do it around experienced players who demanded bigger contracts or would rather play elsewhere.
Sir Alex needed to rebuild and had the confidence to install the youthful Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville alongside the already highly influential 21-year-old Ryan Giggs.
According to TheMirror he defended the high-profile sales by saying:
“Supporters might not understand this, but not everyone is a United supporter. Money is important to footballers.”
I remember at the time people thinking he was crazy.
How were United supposed to rebuild when they were selling their biggest names?
In a Manchester Evening News poll at the time 53% said Fergie should go and his popularity didn’t improve when they lost their opening game to Aston Villa 3-1. Alan Hansen speaking on MOTD declared famously;
“you can’t win anything with kids.”
Speaking years afterwards, some players doubted their ability to succeed after that loss. But by the end of the 1995/96 season they had won the double.
The difference is that Man United had already won a league title and a European Cup.
Sir Alex was gifted time to oversee a transformation in the squad that would see them winning the treble in 1999.
Solskjaer has a small fraction of influence at the club and he has everything to prove as a manager. The club needs rejuvenating, revamping and new youthful additions surely need bringing in.
Like Sir Alex before him he needs to make brave decisions. Lukaku, and Pogba don’t look hungry to succeed at the club and seek a move elsewhere. United need to ship them out and buy talented players who want to succeed at the club.
United are due to report back in under two weeks we await with interest if any more new players are brought in before pre season begins.