Mauricio Pochettino is perhaps the only other viable candidate for Manchester United to appoint as their full-time gaffer should the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer experiment fail.
While a series of complications will arise due to the gaffer’s long-term contract with Spurs, United seem likely to put in the extra effort and ensure that the Argentinian will end up at Old Trafford. Here’s what is likely occurred if he’s appointed:
1. Solskjaer Returns To Molde
The Norwegian will be back to the club he’s resurrected, having left behind yet more fond memories at Old Trafford. It is clear that this return to Molde will be different, as now, the European stage has seen what he is capable of as a manager.
The Solskjaer that United have been under these past few weeks has immensely altered their style, a completely different man from the one that went down with Cardiff City.
It shouldn’t be too long before he is assigned another high-profile gig. Meanwhile, in Manchester, Pochettino will have to work really hard at ensuring the respect of the fans, as Solskjaer has assured that the stands would still be singing his name.
2. United Rob Another Name From Spurs
While it may not seem so in face value, the two clubs have an intriguing history, largely featuring Manchester United giving the London side a mostly tough end of the deal.
In the past, United thwarted Spurs attempts at signing no less than Sir Alex Ferguson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer themselves, the gaffer in 1984, and the striker in 1998. The rest is frankly history.
A third, lesser-known name that United secured was that of Edward Freedman. The financial visionary shaped much of the club’s commercial success in the years to come.
Now, if they lose Pochettino as well, they will have lost to United some of the biggest era-defining figures. No wonder Levy is so strict with his negotiations.
3. Kane To United?
If the Red Devils are somehow able to pry away Pochettino, then it is clear that Levy is open to negotiations after all, and will tip his hat for a price.
As of such, United may likely go all out and try and secure Harry Kane as well. Pochettino’s system has no place for a striker like Romelu Lukaku, even lesser than the role that Solskjaer’s current set-up would fathom. The closest United has to a Pochettino-esque striker is Marcus Rashford.
As of such, the club may just put one last big cash splurge and secure one of Premier League’s most assured goalscorers for a manager that is almost a guaranteed success in the competition.
4. Downhill For Spurs
Spurs’ days at the pinnacle of English football may be coming to a close soon. Losing Pochettino could prove to be the last straw in a cycle that will unleash a domino effect that may spell doom.
Players like Kane, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen are still at Spurs despite poor wages and massive interest from elsewhere solely because they enjoy functioning in the gaffer’s system.
As of such, it isn’t unfathomable to consider that these players too will depart once their beloved manager is gone, leaving Spurs bereft of a visionary as well as the players that shaped their recent success.
5. Eddie Howe To Spurs
On the bright side, Spurs won’t have to look too far for the replacement to Pochettino. The AFC Bournemouth gaffer is another name that has been strongly linked with Manchester United, but a club like Tottenham Howe may find a better place to ply his trade.
He has displayed a penchant for tactical balance, and actually matches many of Pochettino’s core styles and approaches. Specifically, his insistence on tailoring individuals for roles will work well at White Hart Lane. It will almost be like Pochettino never left Spurs if Howe is the man appointed.
The summer transfer window will immediately see Toby Alderweireld come in. The centre-back works perfectly as the rock of Pochettino’s system, where the forward runs of the wing-backs are crucial to the formation of the attack.
Further, the man has also been a long-time admirer of Anthony Martial, whom he attempted to sign on multiple occasions. Finally possessing the Frenchman in his arsenal will all but ensure that the roster will be a force to reckon with.
He is unlikely to be too demanding of the board, focusing instead on bettering his squad and promoting youth players.
7. Shaw-Pochettino Reunited
A manager-player reunion will also be at hand. Shaw’s steady rise as a fine left-back has seen all sorts of hurdles over the year, limiting his potential.
However, playing under the gaffer who first ignited that spark at Southampton and brought him to that limelight may just be the catalyst that fully justifies the once world record fee paid for a teenager.