How daring are Manchester United prepared to be this summer?
Nobody wants to see irresponsible spending at this time, but being too cautious is a dangerous game too.
The last two transfer windows under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have shown different sides to United. Last summer United were too cautious.
The club bizarrely did not sign a single midfielder, and decided the squad didn’t need a new creative player.
It was a gamble which didn’t pay off. Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira were not up to the task and the first half of the 2019/20 season was painful to watch at times.
United were linked to Bruno Fernandes last summer, but chose not to pursue a deal.
The Mail claimed this was because it was viewed that Fernandes took too many risks with his passing.
This summed up United’s risk averse strategy. The solution was not to sign another player, choosing not to pursue an alternative instead.
Change of tact
Not signing another player was a good move in the end, by luck rather than judgement. It was only due to our good fortune that Fernandes’ proposed late August move to Real Madrid did not go ahead, and he remained available in January.
After watching a difficult first half of the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United’s recruitment team changed their minds.
A pursuit of Fernandes was reignited and he signed at the end of January and he was signed for a fee which could total £67.7 million if all add-ons are achieved.
He transformed the team’s attack, with United’s midfield and forwards clicking, and linking together well. It made the decision not to sign him last summer seem laughable, and costly.
So OK, mistakes were made. The question is how do United respond this summer?
United need to learn from this and be bold. Leave no stone unturned, while spending within the financial limits.
We don’t want to end this summer like the last, thinking, ‘well three additions is fine, but there are still big holes in the squad’.
The lesson is that if a situation is left unaddressed, it will come back to bite the team.
Instead, sign a top class player, and get top class results. It really is that simple.
United need to add a striker, a right winger, and arguably two midfielders, one defensive and one creative, and may be even a centre-back to build a squad with the consistency required to mount a title challenge. It’s a lot, but why stop short?
Fixing every problem should be the goal, there can be no half-measures. Last season was a transitional year, one of learning, and we came through it.
Now is time for United to react to that, and go full throttle.We saw the difference a fantastic player like Fernandes can make.
Now is the time to add more of them, and really push the limits of the funds we have available, without being irresponsible.
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