Manchester United Summer Transfer Window Synopsis, Analysis, Grade

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Manchester United left winger Alexis Sanchez perfectly summated the current sentiments of his team’s fan base: “I would have liked that they had signed many more world-class players, but it’s the club’s decision.”

What Sanchez said to a Brazilian media outlet echoes what pundits, supporters and observers all over the world are currently thinking, feeling and sometimes saying right now. The most successful club in English history and the richest club in the world haven’t bought a single player since July 3rd. They only signed one player with immediate first team potential. At Old Trafford, this is just unacceptable and unforgivable.

summer transfer window

United manager Jose Mourinho warned us all a few days ago that it’s going to be a rough season if no more deals are closed, and here we are, no more transactions came over the line in time. Of course, Mourinho admitted that grim reality much earlier in the day when he gave his news conference ahead of the regular season opener tomorrow night against Leicester City.

We have now passed the deadline for which Premier League clubs are allowed to buy players. They can still sell players, abroad only, until August 31 as no other league has adopted the earlier deadline.

United season preview: go to this link

Major Manchester United Additions: 

Diogo Dalot – Porto – £19.8m, Fred – Shakhtar Donetsk – £52m, Lee Grant – Stoke – Undisclosed

Fred was the only real, splash signing of the summer. The 25-year-old midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk is plug and play to a potential midfield three with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic the likely other starters. Dalot has potential, but he won’t be healthy until September. Grant is an underrated signing, but only because he then provides more

fred man united

Major Manchester United Subtractions: 

Michael Carrick – Retired, Dean Henderson – Sheffield United – Loan, Sam Johnstone – West Brom – £6.5m, Daley Blind – Ajax – £14m, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – Scunthorpe – Loan, Joel Pereira – Vitoria Setubal – Loan

The Blind sale broke the Dutch Eredivisie transfer fee record.

Analysis:

The window got off to a fast start, but limped to finish, and pretty much collapsed by the end line. No one seems to want to go play for them on the right wing, or in central defense for some reason. While just about every Manchester United supporter alive would like to see an upgrade over Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, remember that defense is overall this team’s strength.

Only City conceded fewer goals last season, but Mourinho is such a defensively minded manager that the need to find a new centre half took on a desperate obsession this summer.

Why couldn’t they close a deal for any of the multiple targets that they pursued is both mysterious and a negative omen.

manchester united transfer

Immediate, Knee Jerk Reaction Grade (True, Authentic Grades Can Only Be Earned Over Time): C-

They took care of their biggest need, strengthening midfield, so you have to give them at least a passing grade for that, if not a “Gentleman’s C.” However, why was United, the world’s biggest and boldest football brand, unable to close a single deal for the final 5 1/2 weeks of the window?

Is the public negativity of Jose Mourinho, which we saw all summer long, turning players off? What about the friction between Mourinho and Pogba- is that adversely affecting recruiting? How about the relationship between Mourinho and CEO Ed Woodward, which is perceived to be quite frosty?

paul pogba jose mourinho

There are plenty of signals right now that prelude Mourinho third season syndrome, and obviously that would be a strong deterrent to recruiting new players. If a meltdown of that sort is actually coming, and that is still far from certain at this point, who would willingly want to be a part of that?

Transfer Window Grades Links:

Arsenal

Chelsea

Liverpool

Manchester City

Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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