With 4 games to go for the conclusion of the Premier League, clubs in England are looking at potential transfers to bolster their squad for the upcoming season. Manchester United are looking to finish this season strongly and secure a spot in the top 4 to entice several youngsters with the prospect of playing in the Champions League next season and one among many is Jadon Sancho.
Jadon Sancho, a Manchester City academy product, plays for Borussia Dortmund and is tearing apart the Bundesliga. The 20-year-old wonder-kid has defied expectations with his stellar performances for the Rhein-based club, scoring 17 and creating 16 in just 32 appearances this season.
While playing for Borussia Dortmund has led to his rise as one of the most talented youngsters in the world, he has expressed his desire to play in his home country and for boyhood rival club Manchester United in coming seasons. With two years left on his contract, Manchester United will be hoping to sign Sancho for less than Dortmund’s valuation of €120 million.
But, the question is does United need Sancho in their line-up. Here’s why they do not need to sign him.
Manchester United have another exciting youngster in their ranks who has enjoyed a breakout season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Mason Greenwood has wowed the Old Trafford faithful with his impressive performances this season.
Still only 18, Greenwood has become the go-to right winger for Ole and his chemistry and teamwork with Rashford and Martial up front has made the United front three one to watch out for in the coming years. The addition of Bruno Fernandes to their squad as well as Pogba’s revival makes the Red Devils’ frontline a potent threat to deal with, even in Europe’s top five leagues.
Also, former United player Dimitar Berbatov has voiced his concerns regarding a move for the English youngster, asking if it is ‘necessary’ for them to sign Sancho this season. While speaking to the Mirror, he said that the move needs to be carefully thought out since Sancho is a player who would be looking to get into the first team. While the addition of Sancho would make United fans drool, one has to wonder how he would fit in with Greenwood firing on all cylinders.
Signing the Borussia Dortmund winger would obviously mean having to play him, but that would require Mason Greenwood to be dropped to the bench. It wouldn’t be wise to impede Greenwood’s growth to accommodate another right-winger in this talented squad. If OGS can figure out a rotation system which involves Rashford and Martial as well, then they can think about it.
Another reason would be the financial hardships that European clubs have undergone due to the coronavirus pandemic. Being the massive club they are, it’s no wonder that United still have the economic muscle to go after €100 million signings even during these hard times. Sancho’s representatives have claimed that there are no issues concerning his contract but surely, spending such a mammoth amount on one player this transfer window should not be a priority.
An interesting clause in several players’ contracts would also put a significant dent in United’s wage budget. According to the clause, players can expect a 25% pay rise if they qualify for the Champions League this season. For instance, someone earning 50k now would enjoy a bonus of 12.5k in his wage for the remainder of his contract. With that 3rd or 4th spot seeming more likely with every passing game, it is certainly going to burn a hole in the management’s pocket to respect such a clause.
Players on loan such as Chris Smalling at Roma and Alexis Sanchez at Inter are expected to tie down permanent contracts with their respective clubs this summer. A host of players are also looking to leave Old Trafford this summer. P Jesse Lingard should be pursuing a move elsewhere in search of regular football while Juan Mata is looking for a move to Galatasaray.
With backups gone, United should look to invest in players who can provide squad depth and options to the manager for the season ahead. With the same amount, they can make 3-4 smart signings to shore up their defence and bolster their midfield and attack. Ole himself is looking for an experienced striker and a left-footed centre-back to add to his squad.
Manchester United are slowly but surely, rebuilding their team. With OGS at the wheel, along with the backing of Ed Woodward, they are set for a good few years ahead. The prospective signing of Jadon Sancho would give Manchester United a real chance to get in par with the golden era under Sir Alex Ferguson. But do they desperately need him at the moment? Or can they hold off until next year and sign him from Borussia Dortmund for a much cheaper price?