Ralf Rangnick's cutting comments have left Joel Glazer with nowhere to hide
Manchester United’s methods in the transfer market over the past few years have involved some big money fees, but when it has come to quantity of players brought in, the club have shown considerable restraint.
Former bosses Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were made to tow the line of bringing in just three or four new players each summer. This is not a sustainable strategy this coming summer.
Interim boss and consultant Ralf Rangnick has set the tone, telling Sky Sports: “If you look at the size of the way the team needs to be rebuilt, I mean, it’s not enough to bring in three or four new players.
“It will be more, bearing in mind how many players will no longer be here with the contracts running out.”
Rangnick has spoken, United must listen
Rangnick went on to scrutinise the United squad, explaining it needs to be strengthened in every single area, apart from perhaps in goal – and he did not even rule this out.
He said: “I think apart from the goalkeeping, we need to make sure that we improve the squad in all areas. To bring in players who really help the team to get better.”
Rangnick doubled down on this after the defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
There is now no hiding place for co-owner Joel Glazer, figuratively. Literally he will continue to keep a low profile in Florida. Where United are concerned, he is rarely seen.
Pressure is growing, however, with Gary Neville once again calling on the Glazers to sell the club; ‘The Glazer family must go’, he wrote on Twitter, while The 1958 group have mobilised a new wave of fan protests.
Rangnick has been brought into United as a Mr Fix It, a sporting director with proven experience building clubs up, with improved structure, medical teams, scouting, the lot. When he speaks, United must listen.
The German confirmed his feedback has gone to boardroom level, as well as via the press. He explained: “I told the board members about what I have experienced so far, and what I think are the important things we have to pay attention to, and where we have to make sure that we maybe get better at.”
In previous summers, United have always left the squad unfixed. In 2018, the club failed to sign a central defender when Jose Mourinho was crying out for one.
In 2019 it was clear United needed a right winger and midfielder, and the striker situation has continued to go unresolved, patched over with temporary solutions in 2020 too.
Last summer it was blindingly obvious the club required a defensive midfielder, and this was ignored, with the club sticking to the policy of three or four signings at the most.
- Seven attacking players Erik ten Hag could sign for Manchester United
- Seven defensive players Erik ten Hag could sign for Manchester United
This summer United must change. Other clubs around Europe prove routinely that it is easy to acquire players if you know where to look.
Rangnick’s RB Leipzig signed 15 players in the 2017/18 season, 11 players in 2018/19 and 11 in the 2019/20 season. Some of these were loan deals, due to the club’s more finite finances compared to United, but the point is, Leipzig never stopped trying to improve, and never placed a cap on the number of players brought in.
United are being shown the way to try and improve, and urged to shift strategy, rather than simply trying to sign three star players and hoping they will gel. Rangnick can’t make the Glazers listen, but more fool them if they ignore him. There is no excuse, and no hiding place if they cast aside his advice.