Three ways Michael Olise can transform Man Utd’s misfiring attack and why Ineos are already showing transfer savvy

ONE of the most intriguing stories at the start of 2024 is the new power dynamic at the top of Manchester United.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos group have agreed a deal for a 25 per cent minority stake in the ownership of the Red Devils which will crucially see them take control of football operations at the club.

AlamyMichael Olise is the first concrete transfer target of the Man Utd INEOS era[/caption]

GettySir Jim Ratcliffe’s Man Utd takeover is set to see a change in Erik ten Hag’s role in transfers[/caption]

This includes, but is not limited to, the transfers of players in and out of the club – an area of operation which has been heavily criticised over the past decade.

Ineos appear set to make sweeping changes to how transfers are made at the club, including manager power on transfers and the club’s transfer chief.

One of the first concrete transfer links of the club’s new Ineos era is the reported interest in Crystal Palace star Michael Olise.

London born Olise qualifies to play for France through family links, and was very close to joining Chelsea last summer after the Blues triggered the £35million release clause in his contract.

However, instead Olise agreed a new contract at Palace with a higher release clause, thought to be around £60m, inserted that will activate at the end of the season.

Right wing has proven to be a real problem area for Man Utd in recent seasons, with no one player able to nail down the spot in an effective manner.

Fortunately, Olise excels in the position for the Eagles, but what would make the French Under-21 star so suited to Man Utd?

In this article we will examine the key strengths of Olise’s game to show why the young attacker is worth more than his price tag.

Goal threat from the right-wing

Olise has impressed for Crystal Palace this season despite limited game time

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Olise has shown that he is a threat in terms of scoring and assisting so far this season despite a hamstring injury blighting his playing time.

He has scored five goals and added one assist from nine games already.

But looking his underlying data we can actually see he is underperforming his expected output in front of goal.

This means there may be even more to come from the left footer, and his more balanced approach to wing play should yield more results than what Man Utd currently see with Antony.

Olise is able to keep defender’s guessing with his movement before he cuts to his left and finishes into the bottom corner

His dynamism has allowed him to develop as a genuine goal threat both in terms of scoring and creating for others

Olise is also developing the ability to score from range either from open play or from direct free kicks where he brings real danger and threat to the opposition.

He is a very technical player with great feet but that extends to his ball striking ability and he generates power and accuracy when striking from larger distances.

This is another area in which Man Utd are currently lacking with Bruno Fernandes the only player who really brings consistent threat from outside the penalty area.

Olise has also improved his craft from dead balls, including a goal against Man Utd

This lack of a longer range threat can make it easier for teams to defend against the Red Devils.

With Antony struggling to live up to his price tag since arriving in the summer it is fair to say that United would hugely benefit from adding an attacking threat from the right of their attack.

Adding threat from crosses

Olise provides a massive threat down the right flank, something which has been missing at Man Utd for some time

Despite being naturally left-footed, and therefore preferring to come inside on his left-foot when in possession on the right wing, Olise also generates a lot of threat for Crystal Palace with his clever crossing.

He is not a winger that will consistently look to beat a defender 1v1 on the outside before looking to cross the ball but instead he has a smooth action when cutting back inside onto his left-foot and looking to cross into the area from a deeper angle. 

Crucially, when he is in these areas Olise can find crosses from a variety of angles and can play the ball into the area with a variety of deliveries.

Not only can he whip inswinging balls at pace towards goal but he can also generate pace on the ball when playing it low and hard across goal or find lift to elevate the ball to find the far post.

Olise’s crossing range is shown in this example as he lifts a cross to the far post

While Olise is typically used on the right-side of the attack for the Eagles he does tend to have the freedom to occupy space either centrally or even over on the left-side of the attack at times.

With the French U21 star, however, it does not matter where he is in the final third of the pitch as he consistently finds varied ways to access the penalty area.

This can see Olise drive in possession of the ball and dribble into the area, almost daring the defender to commit a foul, or it can see Olise find creative angles to cross the ball and create dangerous situations from the wide positions.

This time Olise is on the left-side of the attack but he is still able to create danger

While, as discussed above, Olise is a player who carries a goal threat himself it is also notable that he creates so much threat from a variety of positions for teammates.

Once again this is something that United can struggle with as the likes of Anthony, Alejandro Garnacho and even Marcus Rashford are more direct in their style of play.

Creative passing

Olise’s ability to pick a pass and the variety he does this with has proven to be a potent weapon for Palace

While Olise creates a threat with his ability to cross the ball from wide areas he also uses his technical ability and vision on the ball in the channels and central spaces to help his team to break down defensive blocks.

He has such strong technical and receiving skills that Olise is comfortable taking possession in tighter areas when under heavy pressure and can find ways to progress the ball from there.

His balance and agility in possession of the ball make it very difficult for the opposition to take the ball away from him.

Here Olise drive’s forward in possession before playing a one-two and slipping in a team-mate

And the fact that he plays with his head up means that he can take advantage of any spaces that open up ahead of him in the oppositions defensive block.

One of the biggest dangers that Olise brings is that he is a threat when dribbling with the ball or looking to create shooting angles but he also creates danger through his ability to find passing angles to break through the defence.

Even when he is closed down and cannot dribble Olise is able to find a team-mate thanks to his excellent vision

At the moment Man Utd do not have a wide attacker in their squad who has the same variety of tools at their disposal as Olise.

Having a wide attacker who can get on the ball and provide the same threat from the outside, the channels of the central spaces would be hugely beneficial for United and for Ten Hag.


If anything £60m would represent a real bargain in the market for a player like Olise.

The Frenchman has already shown that he has the quality to perform in the Premier League and he is still at a stage in terms of his age where he will continue to develop.

He is the perfect profile of player for Ineos to target to kick start their era of sporting control at Man Utd.

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