One year on since Manchester United's six transfer deadline day ins and outs

It is set to be a far quieter October 5 in 2021 than this date was in 2020.

One year ago this day kicked off with a mixture of hope mixed in with pure desperation.

A 6-1 loss to Tottenham one day earlier was disastrous and set the tone for a panicked last day of transfer activity after a previously uninspiring summer in which Donny van de Beek was the only deal done prior to the deadine.

When the 11pm deadline passed, United had conducted a total of six deals.

These included four incoming moves, one further academy signings, and one permanent exit.


Exactly 12 months on, now is the moment to look back on each of these moves and how the players have fared.

Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Alex Telles: In

The numbers: 26 Games Played, 1 Goal, 3 Assists

Has the move been a success? From the club’s part, yes, from Telles’ perspective, probably not.

United signed Telles to provide more strength in depth at left-back and he has done that, proving to be an upgrade on Brandon Williams. For a bargain fee of around £15 million, it was a move worth making.

Telles scored his first goal for the club last week in the Champions League against Villarreal and it could prove to be invaluable. It still feels like we have not seen the best of the former Porto man just yet.

What we had hoped for was a player who would also upgrade on Luke Shaw and make United a more dynamic side. What we got instead was a rejuvenated Luke Shaw, who went onto enjoy the best season of his career, staying injury free.

Telles ended up losing his place in the Brazil squad and remains second choice at United. There is still more to come from him and one year on, it was a deal worth doing.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Edinson Cavani: In

The numbers: 43 Games Played, 17 Goals, 5 Assists

Has the move been a success? Yes, although United narrowly missed out on silverware at the end of last season, Cavani gave his best efforts, netting in the Europa League final.

It is fair to say Cavani’s spell has been inconsistent though. It took until March for his spell to really kick into gear.

His early spell was blighted by injury, suspension, and a little homesickness, before Cavani seemed to find his feet. By the end of last season he was looking unstoppable, and he was by far and away the best number 7 at the club since 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing has taken the wind out of Cavani’s sails somewhat, with the striker now taking the 21 shirt. But the inconsistency still remains, with a late arrival back from Uruguay in the summer before another injury.

Cavani’s signing in 2020 was a necessary one, especially with Anthony Martial struggling. On a free transfer, it was a smart acquisition.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Facundo Pellistri: In

The numbers: 0 Games Played.

Has the move been a success? It would be kind to say the jury is still out on this one.

Pellistri did fairly well for the under-23s, scoring three goals and providing one assist in seven matches before being sent out on loan to Alaves.

He has returned to Alaves this season too, but neither loan spell have been especially productive.

Pellistri scored for United in pre-season and looked bright, but it is hard to see quite where he would fit into a star-studded attack in the near future unless he really kicks on.

Another loan likely awaits next season and then it will be 2023 before he can have a proper crack at the United team.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Amad Diallo: In

The numbers: 8 Games Played, 1 Goal, 1 Assist

Has the move been a success? Baby steps. So far so good. Amad’s deal was only concluded in January due to the late nature of the deal and complex paperwork.

During this time he played only twice for Atalanta, so to play eight times for Manchester United’s first team could be considered some progress.

He scored a memorable header against AC Milan at Old Trafford in the Europa League, showing the ability he has. Amad also provided an assist on his first Premier League start, setting up Mason Greenwood against Leicester.

Amad’s biggest challenge is the sheer volume and quality of competition in front of him. He and Pellistri were both signed as alternatives to Jadon Sancho, and now United have all of them.

He was set for a loan this summer before injury struck. Amad is due back shortly after being pictured back in training, and will try to make an impact before likely being sent back on loan in January.

A strong loan can set him up for a first team push in summer 2022. Amad is a special talent who United are lucky to have, and if his development is looked after carefully, the upside is that he could become a better player than Sancho.

The Guardian report that United paid an initial £18.7 million for Amad. This fee could rise with various add-ons, and if Amad does trigger them, it could reach £37 million, and probably end up looking like money well spent.

Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Willy Kambwala: In

The numbers: 4 Academy Games Played.

Has the move been a success? Kambwala was signed from Sochaux for around £3.5 million.

The France youth international has had a difficult first 12 months, however.

After making his debut in a win last October, Kambwala sustained an injury which kept him sidelined for 11 months.

The centre-back recently made his return and has played three times this season for the under-18s, starting the last two matches.

Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chris Smalling: Out

The numbers: 27 Games Played for Roma.

Has the move been a success? From Manchester United’s point of view, yes.

Smalling’s Manchester United exit was long overdue and he got the move he wanted, signing for Roma permanently after his successful loan switch a year earlier.

Roma may have had a little buyer’s regret, with Smalling’s injuries restricting him to playing just 16 of a possible 38 Serie A matches.

United banked a fee which could reach £18 million, Sky Sports reported, which continues to look good value on the club’s part. Smalling is now playing under Jose Mourinho once again.

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