Manchester United were in dire need of new signings in the summer of 2022. The Red Devils were left reeling after the 2021-22 season – a horrendous outing had left them languishing at sixth, thirteen points off Champions League football. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick also departed after failing to consolidate the team post Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Facing a complete overhaul from top to bottom, the Red Devils needed a new manager and a new crop of motivated players to carry the club forward. Erik ten Hag was identified as the right man for the job, after his exploits with Ajax Amsterdam.
The Dutchman had employed a defined and distinct brand of football with the 2021 Eredivisie Champions, and United needed to invest in his vision for the project to succeed. Through the course of the 2022 summer transfer window, Manchester United were linked to hundreds of players across the world and only 6 of these links materialised into actual signings, across various positions.
The Red Devils roped in Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax and Casemiro from Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Newcastle United keeper Martin Dubravka also arrived on a loan deal.
After 6 Premier League games, Manchester United are currently fifth on the table. Despite two straight losses to begin their season, United managed to win 4 league games on a trot. This streak included tricky encounters against Liverpool and Arsenal.
However, Ten Hag’s troops also fell to a 1-0 defeat against Real Sociedad in their Europa League opener. And the Dutchman’s new players have been involved, albeit to different degrees, in the team dynamics. Let’s have a look on how the 2022 summer signings have impacted United so far:
1. Tyrell Malacia
Manchester United’s first signing of the summer came in the form of left-back Tyrell Malacia. The Dutchman had an impressive showing in pre-season. He looked tidy in possession and sturdy in defence, as Ten Hag rotated between the Dutchman and Luke Shaw.
Since the start of the regular season, Malacia has started 4 out of 6 Premier League games and both the Europa League fixtures for the Red Devils. The 23-year-old has appeared confident in his role and seems to be a very good signing so far.
2. Christian Eriksen
Signed on a free transfer, Christian Eriksen has directly walked into Ten Hag’s starting XI. The Dutchman has tried the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder across many positions, including as a defensive midfielder, in a double pivot, and as an interior.
Eriksen has started all 8 of United’s games so far and has 2 assists against his name. The 30-year-old has mostly been paired with Scott McTominay in the midfield. The former’s positioning and movement help United drift between a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 with ease. His vision and ability to pick out passes between the lines have helped United progress the ball between the phases of play too.
3. Lisandro Martinez
Lisandro Martinez followed his manager from Amsterdam to Manchester. The Argentinian international has started 7 out of 8 games for the Red Devils so far. Deployed on the left side of the backline, Martinez has demonstrated excellent game-reading, positional awareness, and passion. On the ball, he and Eriksen have been United’s two most important progressors too.
The fact that the Argentinian can also play as a left-back or in the midfield if necessary, will also be of great help to Ten Hag as United prepare for a long season ahead. With the World Cup scheduled in the middle of the season, the Dutchman will need to find a way to keep his players fresh and firing until the end of the season.
Manchester United also signed Brazilian midfielder Casemiro on a €60 million base fee from Spanish giants Real Madrid. The defensive midfielder has made 5 appearances for the Red Devils since joining, 3 in the Premier League while 2 in the Europa League.
However, only one of these appearances has come as a start so far, in the Europa League. Casemiro will look to play a more prominent role at the fulcrum of United’s system as the season progresses.
Manchester United’s fifth signing of the season was another ex-Ajax player. After months of constant rumours, the Red Devils finally coughed up the asking price of €100 million set by the Dutch champions. Antony walked straight into Ten Hag’s plan, starting on the right flank against Arsenal.
The Brazilian winger repaid the faith instituted in him, by scoring a nice team goal on his debut as United cruised to a 3-1 victory against the Gunners. He has also started both of United’s games in the Europa League.
6. Martin Dubravka
After allowing Dean Henderson to leave on loan, Manchester United needed a solid backup keeper. After being linked to several players, the Red Devils finally picked out Newcastle United shot-stopper Martin Dubravka. The 33-year-old had fallen behind Nick Pope and Karl Darlow in the pecking order.
Martin Dubravka is yet to make his Manchester United debut. The Slovakia international is expected to remain a backup to David de Gea for the entire season.
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How satisfied are you with the 2022 summer signings of Manchester United? Which new signing has impressed you the most? Let us know in the comments.
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