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Tough act to follow

"I seem to recall the last unknown striker the Reds signed from Molde turned out to be quite good. His name was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he scored 126 goals in 366 games."

- Stewart Gardner
18/01/2010 09:00, Report by Stewart Gardner
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The man from Molde

Have United unearthed another gem from Molde?

I seem to recall the last unknown striker the Reds signed from the Norwegian club turned out to be quite good. His name was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he scored 126 goals in 366 games.

Of course, no-one would want to compare Mame Biram Diouf to Ole after two brief cameos from the bench but the early signs do look promising. Tremendous pace and a great spring look to be his main assets and he showed a bit of bravery to beat Brian Jensen to the ball to head home in front of the Stretford End on Saturday. His celebration was a gymnastic triumph as well. Just imagine if both Diouf and Nani scored in the same game for United – there would be bodies flying everywhere!

If Diouf does turn out to be a bit of a star then it shows that you don’t have to splash big money to bring in talent. And I spoke to him on MUTV after the game and he was very modest indeed. You get the feeling that a bit of success won’t go to his head. By the way, there are three players who’ve appeared for United and Molde: Diouf, Ole and... I'll reveal the answer later on.

Admittedly, Diouf’s goal did add a bit of gloss to the scoreline. I think 3-0 was a bit harsh on Burnley. They had some great chances: David Nugent’s miss when it was still 0-0 was really shocking given he’s played for England. What a chastening thought! He was put through by Chris Eagles, who I thought was tremendous. He left Old Trafford with the Man of the Match champagne and he told me he was very touched by the great ovation the United fans gave him when he was substituted. He seems to have become a very accomplished Premier League player.

Talking of accomplished players, how good was it to have Edwin back in goal? Tomasz Kuszczak did a fine job in the last 11 games but Edwin just brings a calm authority that transmits itself to the defence. He became United’s oldest post-war player on Saturday, although he’s got a long way to go to match the Reds' oldest ever player: Billy Meredith was still playing at 46. I wonder if Giggsy will beat that...

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