Ed Woodward Promises Busy Summer Transfer Window at United

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Manchester United Executive Vice President Ed Woodward is about as polarizing a figure as you’ll find in world football. There are a lot of United supporters out there who are greatly unhappy with the job that he has done and media pundits critical of his job performance.

Credit Woodward though as he’s definitely trying a lot harder to be better. He’s determined to use the upcoming summer transfer window to improve his club’s roster. The former investment banker/accountant is well aware that MUFC are not anywhere close to where they need to be right now and he’s vowed to work hard to try and bring them back.

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“Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window. As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity,” he said, via a prepared statement at a recent fan event.

“We had consistently taken the view that – because January is not an optimal time in terms of availability of players – we would only buy in January if players we had already targeted for the summer became available and we were pleased that this strategy played out with the signing of Bruno Fernandes.

“Bruno Fernandes and the players we brought last summer are evidence that our process is the right one. There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200 million spent since Ole became manager. Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.”

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He is absolutely right when he says the team has spent a lot of money in the transfer market, and he’s totally correct about the January window being the lesser of the two transfer periods.

And Fernandes was indeed a great, quality pickup for United, who were woefully thin at the position.

However, United wasted time in the Fernandes signing, when they could have used him on the pitch, and in the end saved no money on the deal. However, he’s here now and that’s a start. And although United have spent big, they have had some real flops, and other deals with little to no return on investment.

It’s been reported that Ed Woodward wants as many as five players this summer, including a striker and a midfielder. Although the last window just ended, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next one. This is especially the case at United, where big improvements are badly needed.

As Woodward said: “as a club and a board, we do recognize that we are not yet where we want to be. It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles. Although progress may not always be smooth, everyone across the club is focused and committed on playing their part in helping achieve those aims.”

He continued:

“Similarly, there has been extensive work on our recruitment process, with considerable investment in scouting, data and analytics. The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff.”

“Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.”

Watch this space, indeed.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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