The Hard Tackle analyzes how Manchester United fared this summer in their transfer dealings during a highly unpredictable transfer window.
The transfer window this summer has been a topsy-turvy roller coaster of astronomical price tags and quite a number of shock transfers. Few clubs managed to sign the players they wanted while others saw their targets join their rival clubs. Amidst all this, let’s take a look at how the Red Devils managed to fare this time.
INS: Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
OUTS: Adnan Januzaj, Guillermo Varela, Josh Harrop, Wayne Rooney.
MVA (Most Valuable Addition) – Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku made their Premier League debuts as United beat West Ham 4-0. However, the post-match talk of the defensive midfielder drowned out mentions of the £75 million striker scoring a brace on his league debut. That goes to show how Matic has been a crucial signing for United – one that was needed for years.
With Matic in the fray, United have a player capable of dominating the midfield. He has appeared in all matches so far and the side has not conceded a goal, while scoring 10. Matic’s inclusion has created more freedom for Pogba, since Matic can mop up any loose balls. He seems like the final piece in the title-winning puzzle at Old Trafford.
Player that left which benefited the club and the player – Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney’s departure was perhaps the only transfer which was expected by everybody, and yet something that nobody wanted. While United fans across the world were devastated to see their beloved ‘Wazza’ leave Old Trafford, they were also understanding of the fact that this was the best for him and the club.
Rooney’s numbers have improved ever since he joined his boyhood club Everton. He also has a more significant role to play there, whereas at United, he would have been lost in the pecking order below huge names like Ibrahimovic, Lukaku, Pogba and even Rashford. Hence, playing for Everton as he nears his twilight years seems ideal for him.
One player who should have left – Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw was signed to address the left-back problem at the club. Although he did start off on a strong note – he suffered a horrific injury in September 2015 against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League. Since then, Shaw has hardly managed to find his feet again. Shaw is yet to feature so far this term, but is he worth holding on to?
Probably not. The Portuguese boss has shown no signs of wanting the 21-year-old in his squad and a clean break might be what’s best for all parties. Last season saw him get iced out of the squad completely due to his never-ending slew of injuries, and he has just failed to establish himself in the side. Thus, Shaw is one player who should’ve left.
Final Verdict: SUCCESS
Manchester United have definitely done good business this summer. The fact that they acquired the services of players like Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku only goes to show how well Mourinho planned his spending spree. Lindelof is yet to prove his mettle but, once he gets comfortable, he will undoubtedly be a strong force at the back.
The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will boost the squad at the front since the Swedish superstar can be a lethal force on field, and also act as a solid mentor for young players like Rashford, Martial and even Lukaku. Mourinho retained most of his reliable players while integrating fresh talent, making it seem like a well-rounded squad.