Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not asking for much this summer in the transfer market. But he does want the one thing his Old Trafford superiors have been unable to give him so far.
Solskjaer wants quick deals, which is understandable after a frantic deadline day scramble which left United having to loan a player in from the Chinese Super League.
Quoted by the Evening Standard, the Manchester United manager said: “Here we go again, January is not even done, but we are talking about the summer. Hopefully we can do our business early on.”
It’s perfectly reasonable of Solskjaer to expect quick action in the transfer market heading into the summer. United have months to prepare, and need to learn the lessons of this window.
Failing to get deals done quickly left the club’s options thin by the end of the deadline.
United tried though, targeting Erling Haaland early [Telegraph], before he moved to Dortmund. A lack of back up plan led to a desperate late move for Odion Ighalo.
Last summer Solskjaer pleaded the case for early deals. He told Goal: “There’s been so many players that have been written about, so many agents in touch with our administration that want to come here. I’m sure when we decide what we have to do, hopefully we’ll get them by pre-season.”
He got half what he wanted. United had Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in for pre-season.
But big money man Harry Maguire, the player Solskjaer has since chosen as captain, was signed late, and only made his United debut on the opening day of the Premier League season.
Even this January, Bruno Fernandes was signed with one day to go of the window.
A quick early deal would have had Fernandes available for the Carabao Cup semi-finals, and the big Premier League game away at Anfield. United let the manager down by not closing a deal quicker.
Demands, and reality
Solskjaer is right to ask for deals to be done quickly. The reality is they probably won’t be.
Euro 2020 complicates the transfer window, and once players are at the tournament, transfers will be on hold until afterwards.
If United want Jack Grealish for instance, there is the risk of Aston Villa saying they will only consider offers after the tournament, in the hope the midfielder stars for England and his valuation soars in the process.
Solskjaer’s comment may have been a subtle dig at Ed Woodward and the Glazers. It’s about as far as he can go without calling them out.
Privately though, Solskjaer has to be imploring the same message. This transfer window was not disastrous, but it was badly executed. The club have to be a lot more organised in the summer.
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