Man Utd v Real Sociedad: Pictures
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Manchester United are, according to reports, looking to sign a right-back, central midfielder and striker as part of the next phase of Erik ten Hag’s rebuild. However, that speaks volumes about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the way his signings have fared at Old Trafford. The Norwegian got players in all three positions during his time in charge, but none of them have ever lived up to expectations…
Manchester United gave Ten Hag backing in the summer transfer window, with six new faces arriving.
Tyrell Malacia was the first to arrive, with the Netherlands international turning down Lyon in order to move to Old Trafford, with Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen then following.
After giving up on Frenkie de Jong, of Barcelona, the Red Devils proceeded to recruit Casemiro from Real Madrid in a huge £60million deal.
And, on transfer deadline day, United finalised the signings of Antony and Martin Dubravka – who touched down from Ajax and Newcastle respectively.
Now, according to the Manchester Evening News, the club aren’t done when it comes to giving Ten Hag funds to strengthen the squad.
A right-back is being eyed to provide competition for Diogo Dalot, who is now firmly above Aaron Wan-Bissaka when it comes to Ten Hag’s pecking order.
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United want another midfielder, despite landing Casemiro, while a new striker is being targeted at a time where Cristiano Ronaldo is approaching the twilight years of his career.
Solskjaer strengthened in those areas during his time in the dugout, with the Norwegian given more money than any of Sir Alex Ferguson’s predecessors.
And it’s now damning that, just a year after his departure, United are now planing on doing the same with Ten Hag.
In the summer transfer window of 2019, Solskjaer sanctioned a huge £50m deal for Wan-Bissaka having been left unconvinced by Dalot.
The 24-year-old had been impressing for Crystal Palace at the time, establishing himself as one of the best young right-backs in the whole of the Premier League.
Wan-Bissaka was a regular throughout Solskjaer’s reign, with the 49-year-old giving the youngster his backing.
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But, since the sacking of the Norwegian last November, the United star has found himself out in the cold under both Ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick.
United chief John Murtough told Ten Hag to give Wan-Bissaka a chance back in the summer, with the club reluctant to take a loss on the right-back.
Yet with the former Palace star struggling for action, it appears there’s no long-term future for him at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer was backed in 2020 when United signed Van de Beek from Ajax, though the former Red Devils boss had actually wanted the club to recruit Jack Grealish from Aston Villa instead.
And that’s another transfer call that has backfired massively.
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Van de Beek has made just four Premier League starts for United under three different managers, with doubts over whether he’s suited to the Premier League still hanging around.
Even under Ten Hag, who he previously played under at Ajax, the 25-year-old has been marginalised – though injuries have admittedly played a role as well.
That United want another midfielder, just two years on from Van de Beek’s arrival and having signed Casemiro already, is again damning on Solskjaer and his judgement.
And so too is the Red Devils wanting a new striker.
Solskjaer signed three of them during his spell in charge – but Ronaldo, Odion Ighalo and Edinson Cavani were only ever short term options.
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Ronaldo has stayed put, after wanting to leave, but there’s certainly a feeling the veteran is entering the twilight years of his career with just one goal so far this season.
Ighalo stayed for a year and did well enough, but the Nigeria international was never going to propel the club to the biggest prizes on the land.
And though Cavani had his moments for two years at United, his form suffered alarmingly following Ronaldo’s return 12 months ago.
All three players were signed when, arguably, they were past their best.
So that’s another transfer error from Solskjaer that’s now being exposed, and that Ten Hag will be looking to rectify when the transfer window reopens in January.
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