Manchester United’s transfer window thus far has been disjointed and appears to lack any clarity of thought. The entire team last season needed drastic dismantling to bring it back to a competitive level, but so far the transfers have been eclectic and unexciting.
So far, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have arrived and the club are prepared to pay an outrageous £80m for Harry Maguire.
Maguire is a decent player but £80m ? He’s not in the same class as Virgil van Dijk and surely, if anyone was going to be sold for anything close to that sum it would have been hot prospect Matthijs de Ligt who went for a reasonably modest £67.5m from Ajax to Juventus.
Solskjær still has major, major problems including the temperamental enigma that is Paul Pogba and the misfiring Chilean diva Alexis Sanchez. He needs a playmaker, an ankle nibbler and a striker to replace Romelu Lukaku, who is apparently close to leaving for Juventus in a swap deal with Paulo Dybala before the end of this transfer window.
Now on that front, if United have the two areas covered that I just highlighted plus a couple of seasoned wingers, I could see him being a massive success, but he will struggle at this rate.
If United don’t put the heat on this transfer window, it’s easy to see either Ed Woodward or Ole Gunner Solskjær departing at the end of the season because another season of relative failure will require a new vision and approach.
The problem is that Ole, despite being a decent chap, has never been in charge of such a massive club that has so many inherited and complex problems.
United looked for a manager to replace a legend, but legends like Ferguson are in short supply, so they went for David Moyes. Big mistake !
United then went for the experience and dryness of spirit that is Louis Van Gaal. That was marginally better but not by much.
Mourinho followed, in an attempt to bring an edgy ruthlessness back to the manager’s post but that was a grenade minus the pin.
So, more recently, they went for a nice, well respected guy, a former player and a club favourite. I’m not sure he will solve the problems, but not many managers fancy being measured against Alex Ferguson.
Yet for all the change and money thrown at United, Woodward was behind it all. He will be behind the transfer window debacle which is currently ongoing and although the Manchester club may still pull off something special, it appears that targets such as Bruno Fernándes are in two minds about an approach.
It’s said that Fernándes may even chose Spurs over the northern giants, which would highlight United’s current predicament. In the past, when United came calling, they normally got their man but now, they don’t have the same ability.
The Fernándes situation hasn’t gone down well with fans ranting on social media. One said:
“If Bruno Fernandes is signed by another English team then Ed Woodward must be fired,”
I’m of the same opinion, but not over one player. He’d be axed for his inability to help shape the club and maintain their competitiveness since his arrival.