The transfer window has only been open for a number of days and United’s lack of planning and pulling power is being exposed.
Juventus became the latest side to do a deal when they snapped up Dejan Kulusevski from Atalanta, as reported by Goal.
Kulusevski was linked with a switch to Manchester United, by Calcio Mercato via Daily Star, before making the move to the Italian champions.
Whether United really wanted him or not is immaterial. Juventus had a clear plan, and got their man.
There has been so much talk about what United need to do in the transfer market and it looks already like Ed Woodward is being left on the back foot once again.
Well run clubs are securing deals
It is supposedly difficult for elite clubs to do business in January, with the winter window often characterised by desperation from clubs lower down the league.
But Liverpool have already nipped ahead of United to land Takumi Minamino, taking advantage of a bargain release clause Woodward didn’t have a clue about.
Erling Haaland was a target to the extent that Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a personal visit, but he is now a Borussia Dortmund player.
There’s possibly a conversation to be had about why Solskjaer didn’t turn to Haaland in the summer – before he really kicked on – given he must have been aware of his countryman and United needed to sign a striker then to replace Romelu Lukaku.
But that sums up United in terms of recruitment in recent years; behind the curve, always reactive instead of proactive.
Juventus, Liverpool and Dortmund have all done deals already. United are chasing shadows.
Midfield weakness isn’t a sudden problem
The injuries to Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba – perhaps the two men Solskjaer planned to anchor his midfield around this season – have left United’s midfield in dire straits, and of course the club could not have accounted for that happening so close to January.
But Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini have been allowed to leave within the last 12 months without either being replaced by an academy graduate or new signing.
Nemanja Matic has been left in the cold to the extent that he looked certain to leave this month – but is now playing in crucial festive matches.
United have needed midfield reinforcements since before Fred arrived under Jose Mourinho and yet no plans appear to be in place to get on the front foot and secure the correct talent.
- Should United let James Garner go out on loan?
- Are more injuries around the corner for Manchester United?
- Why did United pass on Mario Mandzukic?
- Three questions for Manchester United ahead of facing Tranmere
- Predicted Manchester United XI v Tranmere Rovers