Last season’s Europa League defeat was a big blow for the Red Devils. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would’ve loved to take that extra step, to infuse that winning mentality within the young squad. Manchester United entered this season’s transfer window with an aim to strengthen four key positions viz.,
Right Winger, Defensive Midfielder, Centre Back & a back up Right Back. This meant that the future for players like Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Matic, etc. was uncertain. Several key players were identified for these positions;
RW – Jadon Sancho
DM – Eduardo Camavinga, Ruben Neves, Declan Rice, Wilfried Ndidi
CB – Raphael Varane
Back up RB – Kieran Trippier.
The Arrivals & the Outgoings
Tom Heaton returned to Old Trafford as a free agent from Aston Villa. He was the Red Devils’ first summer signing. During the window, the key targets were again linked to the club and Manchester United finally made their first marquee signing. Jadon Sancho was brought in from Borussia Dortmund for £73 million in July. The club has been wanting to secure his signature since the last transfer window.
The next big signing for the club was Raphael Varane. Fans across the globe were surprised when Varane announced his decision for a new challenge. The 4-time Champions League winner was always an integral part of the Real Madrid squad. Manchester United secured his signature in August.
Few players went out on a season-long loan for development:
- Tahith Chong to Birmingham City
- Will Fish to Stockport County
- Facundo Pellestri to Alaves
- Ethan Galbraith to Doncaster Rovers
- Ethan Laird to Swansea City
- James Garner to Nottingham Forest
- Andreas Pereira to Flamengo
- Brandon Williams to Norwich City
As the window was coming to an end, big news came out that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to move away from Juventus. The player was offered to the cross-town rivals Manchester City. There was a disappointment and fury amongst the Old Trafford faithful over this news. Tides turned on 27 August and Manchester United had entered the race to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. By afternoon the Red Devils were the front runners and had secured the player’s signatures for a sensational return.
Several ex-players, Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruno Fernandes, etc., played a key role in his return. Post arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United sold Daniel James for £25mil to Leeds United. Much was expected from the fans if Man United can get the last piece of the puzzle on the deadline day, a defensive midfielder. With no activity on the deadline day, it was clear that Man United would not be pushing for any new signings.
Diogo Dalot was given a nod from Ole Gunnar Solksjaer that he was in his plans this season. This meant Kieran Trippier’s move as a backup RB was stalled. Also, with a crucial position not filled, Man United will again have to rely heavily on Mctominay, Fred, Matic & Van de Beek in the center of the midfield. The fans will be eager to see Donny Van de Beek getting more chances, to prove his worth. It will also be interesting to see if the board does sign a defensive midfielder in the winter (January) window.
What is expected from Manchester United this season?
With the signings and backing Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has got, a trophy is a bare minimum. Pressure will be immense on the manager, who has often been criticized for not getting his team over the line in the crucial games. The board’s next target would now be to convince Paul Pogba to sign his contract extension. The fans will hope that the club wins a major trophy this season. The trophy drought has been long and silverware will help this squad achieve bigger things in the coming seasons.
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