Manchester United 2020 Summer Transfer Window Report Card


It’s really a shame, for the new players who did arrive that Manchester United’s 2020 summer transfer window will be defined by the move that didn’t happen- Jadon Sancho. All winter and spring we heard the rumors non-stop. On August 2 there were widespread reports, from credible sources, an agreement was reached.

On August 10, the deal was ruled out by Borussia Dortmund and then pretty much everything else written and said about it since was a colossal waste of time. While needlessly protracted, egregiously tedious transfer narratives have become a norm during the Ed Woodward era, this was next level bad.

United were basically “all in” on the English international and right sided attacking player, without apparently, being prepared to pay “all in” level money. Is it any surprise this approach failed? We’ve seen it a few times recently, (Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes)- United identify their target, and then hold out on paying the egregious sum that the other club demands.

Only to just end up paying it anyway, and the Snacho narrative was the most annoying example ever. Bang up job, Woodward! Bang up job.


Let’s take a look at the deals that did actually happen, plus a couple more that should have but didn’t. Fee amounts in Euros.


Midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax (55m), left back Alex Telles from FC Porto (15m+5m in add-ons), winger Amad Traore from Atalanta for January (40.7m), striker Edinson Cavani (free)


Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan (big time wages off the books, loan move became permanent), Diogo Dalot to AC Milan (loan), Joel Pereira to Huddersfield (loan), Chris Smalling to AS Roma (20m), Angel Gomes (released)

Team Needs Addressed:

Everyone has thoughts on whether or not Telles should or will supplant Luke Shaw as the first choice left back, but I honestly believe it’s a matter of when, not if. So that’s a smart pick-up, as is Cavani, but the Uruguayuan would have been an exciting signing back in say, 2016 or 2015.

With Odion Ighalo on his way out in a few months and the club having never really replaced Romelu Lukaku, he definitely fits a pressing need, but giving him the No. 7 shirt? Really?

Are you serious? Let’s just move on from that narrative before this ends up a 1,500 word post. DVD is a quality player, although he isn’t the specific kind of midfielder they needed. As yesterday’s disastrous showing conveyed, lots of team needs to be addressed right now.

Take a look at this projected depth chart:

which immediately transitions to….

Team Needs Neglected:

The central defense is still a train wreck inside a dumpster fire inside a hot mess. Maybe letting Smalling go was a mistake? Perhaps the legal problems that Harry Maguire has been dealing with since his Greek Islands vacation are affecting? Because he’s been abysmal this season, especially so for the team captain/world’s most expensive defender.

The position doesn’t just lack quality, it also lacks depth. Speaking of a position as deep as a wading pool, while a right-sided attacking player was acquired (but only for January), getting a kid, right now, just won’t cut it. Especially when you spent close to $50,000,000 on that kid and he’s only played 25 minutes in a big five league.

Players who needed to leave but didn’t

Jesse Lingard is still here?! Well, why not since you have so few legit wing players now. Sergio Romero, although not totally fit right now is a phenomenal third choice goalkeeper.

A better organized transfer committee and more ambitious club would have found a good home for him, and gotten paid handsomely for doing so.


We already covered the Sancho debacle, but on the other side, the Smalling deal is telling as well. Sure, it takes two to tango, so some of the blame falls on Roma, but it is laughable how the two sides has several months to iron it out, and they literally left it for the 11th hour on the very last day.

United turning in their homework as the bell was ringing (i.e. doing some panic buying) says a lot, and what it says isn’t good. This is the look of a club that isn’t a giant club anymore.

Everybody in the #WoodwardOut #GlazersOut #GreenAndGoldUntilTheClubIsSold crowds were just handed a mountain of evidence to back up their case.

joel glazer

Grade: D+ by United standards, but a C by general PL standards.

Transfer window report cards:  Everton   Chelsea   City    Arsenal   Tottenham   Liverpool   Southampton

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, 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,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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