Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been “last on the list” of potential Manchester United managers from the club’s 1999 Treble-winning squad, claims Dwight Yorke.
The Norwegian provided the finishing touch for the Red Devils during the most memorable of campaigns under Sir Alex Ferguson.
It was his late goal which secured Champions League success over Bayern Munich in dramatic circumstances, with that prize added to Premier League and FA Cup crowns.
He was famed for his hard work and selfless attitude during a productive playing career, but was not considered to be a natural fit for coaching at the highest level.
Solskjaer has, however, returned to Old Trafford as successor to Jose Mourinho – having enjoyed considerable success in his homeland with Molde – and has helped United to rediscover their spark during a run of five consecutive victories.
Yorke told The Sun of the impact being made by a former team-mate: “If you had asked me to look around that dressing room and pick out someone who would one day manage Manchester United, Ole would have been last on my list. He was so quiet.
“I thought the job he had with the youth and reserve players at United was him - nice guy, bringing along the next generation.
“But what he has done is amazing, you cannot fault it.
“I knew this team was not 19 points worse than Manchester City as they were last season, or that much worse than Liverpool. No chance, not with the quality there is in this squad.”
Solskjaer has been asked to salvage a season which was going nowhere under Mourinho, with the Red Devils back in the hunt for a top-four finish and daring to dream of a brighter future.
Yorke added: “Manchester United is a very special club, the biggest in the world. You cannot just forget and discard what made it that way - and Ole is getting us back there.
“He has given the club that connection again, a connection that should never be lost.
“I look at how they play now and it reminds me of how we played. The players are enjoying it all again.
“If Ole keeps on going like this and maybe wins a trophy he should get the job, why not?”
Solskjaer’s claims to a permanent appointment will likely be shaped by results against fellow Premier League heavyweights, with his first experience of such an encounter set to arrive on Sunday when United take in a trip to Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham.