Manchester United’s approach to transfers in the summer was clear; they wanted young, exciting, British players. That was exactly what they got in the form of Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, the oldest of the trio at 26 but by no means old in a footballing sense. It was the first step on their major rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and it looked to have paid dividends straight away with a 4-0 success over Chelsea on the opening weekend.
By early October though, the wheels seem to have fallen off for Solskjaer. United sit 12th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone and having suffered their worst start to a campaign for 30 years. That’s not to say their summer deals haven’t worked out though, so the rumours of who they’re looking to bring in during the January window should worry the United faithful.
Changing Transfer Policies at Manchester United Will Not Help Them
Getting it Right
Solskjaer did the right thing in the summer. He had a plan of the type of player he wanted to bring in and he stuck to it. Wan-Bissaka already had an incredible number of admirers after his breakthrough season at Crystal Palace, and that has only continued to grow since quickly nailing down a starting spot at Old Trafford. James also made a quick start to life under Solskjaer following his move from Swansea City, netting on his debut against Chelsea as well as against Palace and Southampton. Maguire, meanwhile, hasn’t exactly made any headlines since his record-breaking move from Leicester City, but has rarely put a foot wrong either.
Essentially, all of the moves that Solskjaer made in the summer have paid off in some way. Where it goes wrong for United is their manager’s sheer lack of experience. He had an extremely unsuccessful stint with Cardiff City in the 2013/14 season and while he found success in his native Norway with Molde, that is simply incomparable to a club the size of Manchester United.
Don’t Change the System
Either for Solskjaer’s sake or for any new manager that may come in if the United hierarchy decide to depart with the Norweigan, the transfer system they implemented in the summer should not be changed. However, if the rumours are anything to go by, it looks as though that is the case.
United have been linked with Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic for a number of weeks now and according to Mark Jones of the Daily Mirror, they have reached a verbal agreement to sign the Croatian. Manchester United are in desperate need of a striker what with selling Romelu Lukaku and with Mason Greenwood’s injury, but a 33-year-old Mandzukic who has rarely been prolific since leaving Bayern Munich in 2014 is not the answer to their problems. His move is one of many that can be bet on in online gambling slots, but he’s not the only player linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Ruben Dias, a 26-year-old centre-back currently playing for Benfica, is also on their radar according to the Express’ Adam Powers. The Portugal international has time on his side, but how well would he integrate with the summer crop of players that Manchester United brought in? As well, can they be sure that his reported €79 million release clause is worth paying, especially with Maguire not setting the world alight after his huge move?
Another deal United are reported to be eyeing, by Jordan Seward of Mail Online, is for Francisco Sebastian Cordova. The Mexican won his first cap for his country last week and plays for Mexican top-flight side America. At a younger age, he would likely command less of a fee than Dias, therefore being less of a risk, but the integration with the current squad could still be a problem.
In individual terms, the signings United made in the summer have worked. Therefore, their plan for the January should be along the same lines rather than looking at past-it strikers and those with no experience of the Premier League.
Changing transfer models again is only going to create more divisions in the squad, and could further delay the club’s rise back to the big time. Solskjaer has to stick to the summer plan, or he could soon be heading out the door.