A long and frustrating transfer window in 2020 saw Manchester United fail to land reported top targets Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho [ESPN].

United still ended up with three high calibre signings, Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, and Edinson Cavani.

After half a season, there is a sense all three have plenty more to offer, having not yet established themselves as regular starters. But that’s no reason to be down on any of them. All three have shown flashes of real quality.

This is very different to three players United passed on, who each ended up signing for Premier League rivals.

(Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Nathan Ake

Bournemouth cashed in on Nathan Ake for £41 million thanks to an over-eager Manchester City.

Sky Sports reported United had been keen on Ake, but City moved too quickly and paid more than the fee we were willing to offer.

While Ake is a good defender, City are yet to see any return on their investment to date.

Ake has struggled with injury and has started just five Premier League matches. He is merely a back-up.

Perhaps this was depth United needed, but we haven’t so far. Ake would also have been a benchwarmer at Old Trafford.

Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal signed Gabriel from Lille amid claims of interest from United, The Independent reported. United’s name is frequently used by players and agents to manufacture better deals for themselves.


Gabriel has had a tough time at struggling Arsenal and he has not shown he would be good enough to break up United’s first choice partnership.

Indeed if United had signed Gabriel, Solskjaer may not have shown the recent patience he has with Eric Bailly when Lindelof got injured, and tried out the Brazilian instead.

Bailly has stepped up as one of United’s best players during this time, proving there was no need to sign a centre-back so long as he can stay fit.

(Photo by ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Gareth Bale

This is the one deal above the others that United really did particularly well to dodge.

Shortly before Bale clinched his return to Tottenham, ESPN claimed United were considering the Welshman as an option.

There were plenty of red flags, even on a loan deal. Bale has looked a shadow of his former self at Tottenham.

The Champions League winner has made only one Premier League start and looks more ‘washed up’ than revitalised by his return.

United would only have been wasting time and resources by bringing him in on loan and this was a deal the club were right to ignore.

Have something to tell us about this article?