When the transfer window opened we had high hopes Manchester United splashing out on a club record deal for Jadon Sancho.
Now with under two weeks to go, this is looking increasingly unlikely, although the club have not yet officially given up.
It makes sense for United to look at alternatives, with the plural being the optimum word.
This is because no one player will be a satisfactory alternative to Jadon Sancho for supporters.
And then the pressure really starts. Stepping up to Manchester United can be tough, as Dan James has discovered.
It’s even harder when the fans are fully aware that the player is a clear desperation back-up plan.
This is why trying to sign two wingers can ease the pressure, and give both players, and the team a better chance of success.
Enter Brooks and Sarr
David Brooks and Ismaila Sarr are the two most attainable wingers for United heading towards the transfer deadline.
Both players are at clubs who were relegated last season, although that was hardly their fault, especially with Brooks who missed most of the season through injury.
Relegation provides an opportunity for United to buy one of, if not both of them. Liverpool have had some success in this area previously, targeting Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri after relegations.
Both Sarr and Brooks have differing styles. Brooks can play in multiple positions including centrally. Sarr is more of an orthodox out and out wide man.
They could both potentially play in the same side, strengthening United on the left and right wings, while leaving money left over for an extra left-back, possibly Alex Telles.
Quantity and quality
Signing a winger is always a gamble, especially when they are players who have it all to prove.
United have an option to approach this conundrum by doubling down, in the hope that at least one of them will prove to be a big success.
Sarr, 22, is an impactful talent with 29 first team goals in England and France in his career already, including strikes against Liverpool and Arsenal.
Brooks, 23, has goals against Chelsea and Manchester City to his name already in his career.
United could get younger and fresher by adding both players, as replacements for Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira, while giving the team more width.
Brooks has been touted as available at £40 million, The Mail report, with The Independent claiming Sarr is also valued at the same fee, although 90Min suggest Watford would be open to a loan deal, which would enhance United’s chances of getting both done.
Signing just one of Brooks or Sarr would seem like a let down after hopes of landing Sancho.
But if United go for the quantity approach, and can somehow tie up deals for both players, then the extra numbers will soften the disappointment and open up new possibilities for a team in need of extra depth and creativity.
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