If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to have any chance of clinging onto his job, he will need to put his trust in the players who will still give everything for him.

The Manchester United manager is believed to have three games to save himself from the axe following Sunday evening's disastrous 5-0 thrashing at home to Liverpool.

Solskjaer got it all wrong with his tactics against the Reds, demanding his side press their visitors in what proved to be a fatal error for a team clearly lacking organisation and experience in this set-up.

The Norwegian must quickly find a tactical solution ahead of make-or-break fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta and Manchester City.

Further, he must make difficult decisions to leave out players who are underperforming, unfit or causing unrest in the dressing room - his future depends on it.

Without further ado, Mirror Football investigates which members of the squad Solskjaer can trust - and which he cannot.

Arranged in squad number order for players who have made at least one start this season.

1. David de Gea

David de Gea saved an added-time penalty against West Ham in September (


Action Images via Reuters)

A rare standout player for the Red Devils, the Spaniard has been back to his point-saving best at times, even if he has conceded a flurry of late.

Verdict: Can count on.

2. Victor Lindelof

The Swede has played a prominent role due to injuries sustained by Maguire and Varane despite slipping down the pecking order with the latter's arrival.

His decision making is sometimes questionable but his distribution is excellent, as shown by his brilliant long-range assists against Leeds United and Leicester City.

Verdict: Can count on.

3. Eric Bailly

There are reports of a fractious relationship between Bailly and Solskjaer, with the out-of-favour centre-back said to have confronted his manager in the dressing room over his repeated absence from the starting XI.

In truth, Solskjaer appears keen to avoid playing the Ivorian if at all possible, and his only appearance of the season came in the 1-0 Carabao Cup defeat by West Ham United.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

5. Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has not looked himself since a calf injury in early October (



The club captain's recent performances leave many wondering if he was rushed back from injury far too soon after a calf complaint at the start of October.

Maguire has been unusually erratic and spoke for the team when he admitted he was "nowhere near good enough" against Liverpool.

Until he rekindles his form and fitness, Solskjaer has major cause for concern in defence.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

6. Paul Pogba

The Frenchman's form has nosedived after a dazzling, assist-laden start to the season.

Pogba has lost his place in the starting XI and his woeful challenge on Naby Keita and subsequent sending off may coincide with the end of negotiations over a new contract.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner may be wondering what he signed himself up for amid the current turmoil at Old Trafford.

Nonetheless, he has lived up to his end of the bargain since his sensational return from Juventus, scoring six goals in nine games.

Ronaldo has given Red Devils fans something to smile about with his stunning double on his second debut and vital winners against Villarreal and Atalanta.

Verdict: Can count on.

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8. Juan Mata

The decision to activate an extension in the veteran playmaker's contract this summer becomes more puzzling by the week.

Mata's only appearance of the season came in the Carabao Cup loss to West Ham United and, simply put, he is surplus to requirements under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

9. Anthony Martial

The 25-year-old's lack of fitness have kept him out of the spotlight since the October international break, but his tally of one goal in seven appearances leaves much to be desired.

Martial has only started three of those games, further illuminating how he has fallen out of the first-XI frame under Solskjaer.

One goal in seven games.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

10. Marcus Rashford

The fan-favourite forward marked his recovery from shoulder surgery with a well-taken goal against Leicester City and grabbed another against Atalanta last week.

The return of United's second-top goalscorer last season is a welcome boost for Solskjaer at a time when good news has been few and far between.

Verdict: Can count on.

11. Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has made the joint-most appearances of any Manchester United player this season (



Like De Gea, the 20-year-old has been another rare bright spark for United, even if his blistering start to the season has slowed down of late.

Greenwood appears to be Solskjaer's preferred option on the right flank and his clinical finishing ability with either foot makes him a threat whenever he picks up the ball in or near the opposing penalty area.

Verdict: Can count on.

14. Jesse Lingard

Lingard's situation has similarities to another attacking midfielder further down this list, as he has made just one start and six substitute appearances in total this season.

However, what separates Lingard from Donny van de Beek is how he has capitalised on his chances off the bench.

The 28-year-old made it two goals in two Premier League games by scoring the winner against West Ham United last month and also provided the assist for Cristiano Ronaldo's 95th-minute strike against Villarreal.

Verdict: Can count on.

17. Fred

The Brazilian continues to divide fans who are split over the make-up of Solskjaer's midfield.

Many are frustrated with the somewhat bland pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay, yet United have hardly fared better with Paul Pogba or Nemanja Matic in the double-pivot in recent fixtures.

Regardless of ongoing scrutiny, the 28-year-old has made nine starts this season remains a key player who follows the manager's tactics - for better or worse.

Verdict: Can count on.

18. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes remains the most-important player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The Portuguese No.10 remains the driving force of this United team.

He has four goals and six assists this season and continues to create a ludicrous number of chances, but must improve his performances in the biggest games.

Verdict: Can count on.

19. Raphael Varane

Even if clean sheets have not flown United's way, the Frenchman formed a solid partnership with Maguire and his recent absence with a groin injury has played a role in the Red Devils' slump.

Verdict: Can count on.

20. Diogo Dalot

The versatile full-back has looked hungry to take his chance this season after returning from a formative spell on loan at AC Milan.

Verdict: Can count on.

21. Edinson Cavani

An impressive professional, Edinson Cavani will be ready to take his chance when it arrives

The veteran striker is yet to find the back of the net, but just one of his six appearances has been a start and he proved his worth last campaign.

Cavani may well find himself used in a two-man strike force alongside Cristiano Ronaldo as Solskjaer desperately searches for a winning formula.

Verdict: Can count on.

23. Luke Shaw

The Three Lions star is an important player in this team even if he, like many others, has struggled to live up to his own expectations recently.

Shaw offered a blunt verdict of his performance against Liverpool, admitting he must "look himself in the mirror", but he has the attitude to bounce back.

Verdict: Can count on.

25. Jadon Sancho

The England winger's move to Old Trafford has not gone as planned and there is no doubt he is out of United's first-choice starting XI at present.

Until the goals and assists start flowing freely as they did at Borussia Dortmund it will stay that way, but the 21-year-old is expected to come good before the season's end.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

26. Dean Henderson

The 24-year-old is a high-quality option between the posts even if he has lost No.1 status to David de Gea and made just one appearance this season, against West Ham in the Carabao Cup.

Verdict: Can count on.

27. Alex Telles

Like Dalot, the Brazilian has looked to impress Solskjaer when handed rare appearances this season and did so with a sublime volley against Villarreal in the Champions League.

Verdict: Can count on.

29. Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The 23-year-old has made the joint-most starts of any United player this season with 11, alongside Mason Greenwood.

Like his teammates, Wan-Bissaka endured a torrid outing against Liverpool, but he remains by far Solsjaer's best option on the right of defence.

Verdict: Can count on.

31. Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic must prove he can still keep up with the rigours of the Premier League (


Getty Images)

Frankly, it's difficult to know whether Solskjaer can still count on the veteran stalwart. Matic, 33, was overrun in midfield in the 4-2 defeat by Leicester City but he may be called on again soon as his manager looks to address glaring defensive frailties.

Verdict: Can count on - just about.

34. Donny van de Beek

It is harsh to say Solskjaer cannot count on a player hardly given a chance to impress since joining United last year.

Regardless, the United boss does not count on Van de Beek, calling on him just once off the bench in the Premier League this season and handing him a meagre total of three appearances in all competitions.

Verdict: Cannot count on.

39. Scott McTominay

The Scot has struggled to follow up his impressive, seven-goal 2020/21 campaign but he remains United's most-consistent and arguably their most-complete midfielder.

Verdict: Can count on.

Final tally

Players Solskjaer can count on: 17

Players Solskjaer cannot count on: 7

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