As the clock ticked towards the close of business in the European football transfer window on Monday, Manchester United’s chiefs scrambled across the negotiation table dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s in finalising deals for Alex Telles, Edison Cavani and Facundo Pellistri.
It signified an end to a hugely frustrating transfer window which saw the Red Devils been linked with almost every decent talent out there on the globe, notably an open flirtation and subsequent rejection by Jadon Sancho’s camp which unsurprisingly led to a £35million deal concluded for Donny van de Beek.
The speed at which the van de Beek deal was wrapped-up was a reaction to the failed Sancho bid, the player who ought to have been the marquee signing would have signalled a statement of intent on the part of the club’s management, but then unforeseen circumstances in the form and shape of the Coronavirus must have forced the Red Devils to have a rethink as regards splashing out a club-record transfer fee.
While Telles and Cavani notably represent high-profile and experienced additions, the big question remains, were they priority signings?
Left-back was always a position talked about as regards strengthening but the centre forward area never looked to be one where the Red Devils were lightweight considering loan January signing Odion Ighalo has recently failed to even make the matchday squads, largely due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preference for Anthony Martial to lead the line.
What Cavani’s arrival implies is this; it has taken Manchester United the whole of 14 months to replace a then 26-year-old Romelu Lukaku, with a 33-year-old experienced and prolific Uruguay international forward who hasn’t played competitive football in seven months and arrives on a free transfer!
The signing of Cavani (who reportedly will earn £190,000 weekly), the club hierarchy have added to the over-bloated wage bill which has numerous deadwoods on the list earning fat salaries for doing next to nothing.
In an idle situation, the club would have ensured they reduced the wage bill by selling off numerous fringe players who are high earners and raise money to sign quality reinforcement to make the squad more competitive.
It makes absolutely no sense that the likes of Sergio Romero (who is now third choice of four first-team goalkeepers), Axel Tuanzebe, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard, Timothy Fosu-Mensah etc are all part of team they will get very minimal game time this season and for the greater part would actually not be in any position to bail out the team.
Eric Bailly’s latest injury woes (picked up an hamstring injury on international duty on Thursday) further highlights the management goofed due to their inability to strengthen the one key area that needed a quality addition, the central defence.
Harry Maguire has been comical to say the least since his record arrival last year and his dodgy leadership qualities further puts him under pressure as eyebrows continue to be raised as it concerns his role as a Manchester United player.
Like previous transfer windows, Manchester United yet again lost the plot, a clear indication their glory day’s are now well and truly behind them and a vital step towards regaining the trust and to become attractive once again to world-class player’s is the appointment of a respected technical director and limit Ed Woodward’s role to making money for the club.
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