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19th Feb 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes beeline for Callum Hudson-Odoi after Manchester United FA Cup win

Wayne Farry


Monday was a good day for Ole Gunnar Solkajer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came into Monday evening’s FA Cup tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge knowing that a second consecutive defeat would not do his credentials for taking the job at Old Trafford full-time any favours.

United had been comfortably dispatched by Paris Saint-Germain last week and a second defeat in a row would have been a severe disappointment, if not a body blow, for the on-loan Molde manager.

Come full-time and such notions were a thing of the past, as Solskjaer’s side put Chelsea out of the FA Cup with the sort of bounce-back performance that would have made the watching Sir Alex Ferguson proud.

At the final whistle, there was a cacophony of boos around Stamford Bridge for manager Maurizio Sarri, who looks increasingly under pressure after a series of devastating defeats, but it was a different story for Solskjaer.

The Norwegian coach was effervescent as he shook hands with the Italian before making a beeline for Chelsea’s in-demand youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made headlines during the January transfer window by asking to leave the club for Bayern Munich.

Chelsea reportedly rejected a number of bids from the Bavarian giants for Hudson-Odoi, before telling the forward in no uncertain terms that he would not be leaving the club.

It remains to be seen whether the summer arrival of Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic will change the club’s stance or not.

That exchange appears to have caused his relationship with the club to sour further and, judging by a photo taken of Sarri and Hudson-Odoi on Monday, the manager’s presence doesn’t exactly fill the 18-year-old with unbridled joy.

That wasn’t the case when Solskjaer and Hudson-Odoi shook hands however, with the youngster beaming as he met a man who has shown a desire to giving youth a chance in his Manchester United first team.


Marcus Rashford has gone from a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho to a crucial cog in Solskjaer’s machine, while he was also gotten the best out of the likes of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.

There is as yet no official interest from United for Hudson-Odoi, and the encounter post-match at Stamford Bridge may well have just been one professional saying hello to another, but it won’t have been missed by the player or others that – if he is to stay in England should he choose to leave Chelsea – Manchester United would probably be the best place for his development, especially if Solskjaer remains in charge.