Key areas remain unaddressed: Analyzing Manchester United’s summer business
A quiet transfer deadline day for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United meant the fans were left royally disappointed. It was astonishing to see a big club as Manchester United do so little in the summer transfer window.
Barring a few clubs, the others were busy scrambling in the transfer deadline day in order to beef up the squads as much as they can. With the transfer window shut and all the clubs completing their squads, it’s clear that Manchester United have had a dismal summer.
Jose Mourinho’s mood was negative since the pre-season due to a handful of first-team players, lack of signings and his rivals’ sky-high spending. And Mourinho’s mood never changed as his constant grumbling became a part of every pre-season game’s post-match press conference.
The Portuguese manager is almost unrivalled when it comes to identifying the players that are needed to fit his playing style. In the end, however, he often cut a frustrated figure.
For a club like United, one that made more sponsorship deals than signings this summer, Mourinho completed the window with just three additions — Diogo Dalot, Lee Grant and Fred.
Diogo Dalot, the highly-rated young full-back from Portugal joined United in June but he won’t feature for the club until September due to an ankle injury. Dalot is supposedly considered as a long-term replacement for the ageing skipper Antonio Valencia.
Lee Grant, the veteran goalkeeper signed from Stoke City, impressed many in the pre-season tour of the United States with his smart shot-stopping abilities and reflexes. He would provide cover to David De Gea and Sergio Romeo but with the latter currently injured, Grant may find himself quite busy for the time being.
And then comes Fred, who was signed from Shakhtar Donetsk and will beef up United’s midfield. Fred was part of the Brazil squad for the World Cup 2018 and although he didn’t play due to a minor injury, he looked sharp and confident in the latter stages of United’s pre-season tour of the US. The diminutive Brazilian is good enough to feature regularly in the starting line-up and surely Fred needs minutes on the pitch if he’s to adapt to the English game quickly.
Fred offers a new dynamic to the midfield, one which United haven’t seen for a while. He is quick, agile, and industrious and could finally be the player that allows Paul Pogba to play further up the pitch. All in all, the Brazilian is expected to hit the ground running and make other players around him perform their best.
But United have failed to sign a centre-back, a left-back and a right wide man. There are gaping holes in the team which required addressing this summer but thanks to the United board for not providing financial help, the Red Devils continue to seem incomplete.
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The transfer window for the English clubs may have closed but the rest of Europe can still sign players, so the jewels aren’t entirely safe yet for United. Well, it’s time to stop talking and start doing things on the pitch but it goes without saying that this summer was awful for United.