Manchester United signing Ander Herrera came out of nowhere. The club were relentlessly linked with every name under the sun, including such stars as Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas, and Arturo Vidal, but nobody expected Herrera’s name to crop up again.
When the Spanish press broke the story, the British press had no clue what was going on. Not even Andy Mitten, who has close links to the Basque club and Herrera, knew anything about the deal.
Like a stealth bomber, United worked quietly behind the scenes with this Herrera deal and it felt like a United transfer should. Swiftly executed and sealed with no sense of distraction.
This efficiency is a far cry from the summer United had last year. David Moyes’ summer transfer window will be remembered for three things.
First, the embarrassing and very public pursuit of Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard and his club led United on a wild goose chase leaving Moyes, Woodward and many United fans red in the face.
Second, the panic buy and massive over-payment for Marouane Fellaini. Moyes meandered for too long over his targets and ended up splashing the cash on a midfielder who has since proved that he is not worth a fraction of the £27.5m fee United paid.
Thirdly, the shambolic pursuit of Ander Herrera including ‘fake agents’, broken down negotiations and United being left empty handed with their tail between their legs.
This summer, United have got off to a flying start having signed Herrera already and the Luke Shaw deal looks set to be complete potentially by later today. It’s the polar opposite of how we conducted our business last summer – Woodward has transformed himself into what looks like a very successful negotiator.
There is every possibility that Woodward has or is being helped by David Gill but that wouldn’t be a bad thing given how successful Gill was over the years. If anything, Woodward should embrace any advice from Gill as it would help him.
From a United fans’ point of view, the start of this summer has shown significant improvements on last year and with other 60 days until the transfer window closes, there is plenty of time for United to secure some more signings.