Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves to be manager at a top club, according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Norwegian, who replaced Jose Mourinho in December, has been impressive at the Old Trafford helm, winning 11 of his 13 games so far.
Does Solskjaer deserve the Man Utd job? Five things you need to know…
- Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December with Man Utd sixth in the Premier League and out of sorts.
- But the Norwegian has overseen an impressive turnaround, with United overturning an 11-point gap to reach the top four.
- United are also into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup having beaten Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
- The Red Devils have lost just once under Solskjaer, a 2-0 reserve against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
- And Klopp believes Solskjaer has earned himself the chance to manager a ‘big club’.
United face a big task on Sunday, welcoming rivals Liverpool to Old Trafford. The wrong result could see them drop out of the top four with fifth-placed Arsenal facing Southampton.
However, Liverpool boss Klopp has admitted he is impressed with the job that Solskjaer has done at United so far.
He told Sky Sports: “I am a manager myself and I know that we are not magicians.
“It is not like we can come in and say ‘you are not good, but I can make you really good’!
“It is all about bringing out the potential of the team, improving the quality and that is obviously what he has done and that makes him a manager for a top club.”
With Solskjaer managing mostly in Norway with Molde and with Klopp being at Dortmund when he was at Cardiff, he hasn’t done battle with the German in a competitive.
But having met him at a training camp, Klopp gave an insight to Solskjaer’s character.
He added: “I didn’t know him, I met him once – I think – last year at a training game in La Manga, where he was with Molde and we had a little chat.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel: sqwk.at/Squawka-Sub
“He is nice, that is for sure and what he has done so far is brilliant.”
Since Solskjaer’s return to United, a lot has been made of the style of play he’s brought to the team. A more positive style of play, many have likened it to the United of old, attacking quickly with pace and dynamism.
But Klopp doesn’t believe that is the only way Solskjaer sets his team up to play.
“We will see how they play against us,” he continued.
“They are much more front-footed now, that is clear, but their counter attacks are a massive threat. Especially when Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are fit again.
“That isn’t the only thing they are good at. There are a few ways where we can ask them questions that they don’t have the answers to – but it will be a very physical game and very demanding for both teams.”
Can Solskjaer’s United rain on Liverpool’s parade?
Liverpool come into this game looking to take the advantage in the title race. This will be their game in hand over Man City who are in Carabao Cup action this weekend.
Therefore, a win will see Liverpool go three points clear at the top of the table. A United win, however, could stop Liverpool in their tracks.
Having bounced back from their European defeat to PSG with an outstanding away performance at Stamford Bridge, United look like a force to be reckoned with.
So, with Liverpool’s title credentials on the line at their fiercest rival’s home, this edition of Manchester United vs Liverpool may just have that extra incentive to make it a game for the ages.