Manchester United 2021 Summer Transfer Window Report Card


The 2021 summer transfer window was unlike any we’ve ever seen before and I doubt we’ll ever see another quite like it again. And Manchester United played one of the leading roles in all of it. The final summer transfer business ledger is reminiscent of their 2016 summer window; only much better.

If you were excited (as many were) back then, a half decade ago in bringing Paul Pogba back, and signing Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan…then you have to be absolutely, positively over the moon about bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo and adding Jadon Sancho.

Major Signings

Ronaldo from Juventus (up to $27m), Sancho from Borussia Dortmund ($100m), Raphael Varane from Real Madrid (up to $59m), Tom Heaton from Aston Villa (free).

United have not competed for the Champions League title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, but they made two signings in which the players involved have won 9 UCLs combined! Sancho was one of the most protracted transfer sagas we have ever seen, so when he finally signed, it was basically jubilation.

And yet he’s not even the most heralded addition of United’s window; or even the most acclaimed addition at his position group.

Key Departures

Daniel James to Leeds (up to $41m), Axel Tuanzebe to Aston Villa (loan), Brandon Williams to Norwich City (loan) Sergio Romero (free) Tahith Chong to Birmingham City (loan).

Jettisoning James was a smart piece of business. He has potential to be sure, but there was definitely no room for him.

Surplus Players Still Here

Why the hell is Phil Jones still on the squad? I guess absolutely NOBODY wanted him. Anthony Martial is going to be the odd man out, might have been good to send him somewhere he’d get first team football, as the Frenchman still has high value.

Also, can anybody explain the Jesse Lingard situation in a way that makes any sense at all?! Such a perfect fit at West Ham, where he already showed that he can thrive.

Would have been great for all involved, but they just couldn’t make it happen; so strange.

Team Needs Addressed and Not Addressed

There is no getting around it, they still need a defensive midfielder. Fred is just not quality enough and Nemanja Matic is aging and declining. Maybe in January they can get a Michael Carrick type for the middle of the park.

Of course, with all the weapons up top, maybe they can just outshoot everybody to victories. You also have the question of “where will everyone slot in?”

And how is manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going to manage minutes and egos?


Bottom Line/Overall Grade: A

You really can’t give any grade that’s not an A, really.

All Old Trafford did was address their biggest weakness in central defense, get the guy they’ve wanted for over two years for the wing, and bring back their best player of the Premier League era.

What’s left to say?

2021 Summer Transfer Window Report Cards

United   Chelsea   City   Liverpool   Arsenal    Tottenham    Southampton

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

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  1. Agree with the A rating for the transfer business report card, but one piece of unfinished business is a defensive midfielder which would have made an excellent transfer business completion. Fred is always an accident to happen and many painful accidents have been the norm with him guarding the midfield. Matic while experienced is all and slows down the game tremendously. With both of them around, we saw in the game against Wolves how Adama Traore ran rampant through Fred as if he never existed. Only poor finishingbdenied him a goal.

  2. Man UTD did a good business in the concluded transfer window, but they should have signed a defensive midfielder. That’s the area they should have concentrated on.

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