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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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5 reasons Ruben Amorim could be Manchester United’s perfect Solskjaer replacement

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hanging onto the Manchester United manager job by a thread, questions remain over who his replacement might be.

Mauricio Pochettino, Erik Ten Hag, and Zinedine Zidane have been linked, and even Brendan Rodgers, The Times reports. But United are no closer to budging.

Reports from BILD that Ralf Rangnick may be interested has not yet swayed United either.

United should then be exploring alternative options who do interest them and who could be tempted.

One very viable contender should be Sporting manager Ruben Amorim, one of Europe’s most promising coaches.

Learn more about Amorim as we take a look at five reasons why he could be an astute appointment as a replacement for Solskjaer…

Sporting CP v Boavista FC - Liga NOS
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Highly rated up and coming manager

Amorim is just 36, having begun coaching at 32. Already he has won the league title in Portugal with Sporting.

After a playing career which saw him represent Benfica, he coached Braga before being snapped up by Sporting.

Amorim is one of the next generation of top coaches. United’s high profile mistakes in the past have been to hire Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho based on reputation when they are past their best.

Instead United should look to hire a promising coach on the rise who may require a new challenge already after his incredible success at Sporting.

This season they are holding their own in a very competitive Champions League group with Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, sitting third, boasting two wins and two defeats, level on points with the German side.

Rio Ave FC v Sporting CP - Liga NOS
(Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Record setting winner

In his very first season at the club, Amorim led Sporting to win their first title since 2001/02.

Just as impressive was the dominant way they did it, losing just one match out of 34, while conceding only 20 goals.

Amorim doubled this up by leading Sporting to win the Portuguese Cup too.

The success was even more impressive considering this was a side who had finished fourth the year before he took over, 22 points behind Porto, and just lost star player Bruno Fernandes.

Sporting have followed this up with a strong start to this season where they sit joint top of the table, unbeaten through the opening 11 games.

Style of play

Amorim plays a 3-4-3 formation led by an aggressive pressing style from the front.

Breaking The Lines‘ extensive tactical analysis of Amorim’s Sporting details how the team defends together as a unit and looks to win the ball back in the final third.

The midfield four is a diamond formation which can become more compact when defending.

Sporting’s strong defensive record, with just four conceded in 11 games this season and 20 in 34 last season, demonstrates that Amorim’s methods work.

Amorim has also been keen to utilise young players in his set up, leaning on an inexperienced group in defence, and also bringing several teenagers through from the academy to make their debuts.

An eye for a defensive midfielder

Amorim is the man behind the rise of Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha, turning him into one of Europe’s most consistent players in the position.

Palhinha anchors Amorim’s diamond and he ranks in the top 10 players for tackles won in the Champions League this season.

Amorim could either seek to bring Palhinha to United to fill a vital squad need, or he could work to recruit a player with similar attributes.

His success with Palhinha makes him a good fit to solve the position which United have the most question marks over, which could yet transform the team’s fortunes and dodgy defensive record.

FC Porto v Sporting CP - Liga NOS
(Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Attainable, if expensive

Unlike Mauricio Pochettino or Erik Ten Hag who are not available or looking to leave now, Amorim’s situation is a little more clear cut.

Record report Amorim has a release clause in his contract of around 20-25 million Euros, for clubs who want to hire him.

This means if he is the manager United want, it is a simple case of paying the money, which will show Amorim how serious the club are about his services.

If Sporting narrowly fall short in their Champions League group, Amorim may be even more tempted by a change.

United need to approach the manager search with a little arrogance too. This club should be capable of tempting one of the most highly rated and smartest coaches in Europe.

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