With two weeks left in the transfer window, new signings are a necessity at Manchester United if the team is going to be capable of challenging for the Premier League title and as frustrating as the situation is, it’s all too familiar.
Last summer, United found themselves in the same position. After a horde of false promises and failed pursuits of players, a deadline day flurry of bids for the likes of Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao that adopted a scatter-gun approach also failed and it left Marouane Fellaini as the only arrival. What followed was United’s worst ever season in the Premier League.
Mistakes are made in football but United have shown no signs that the lessons of last summer have resonated at all. Ed Woodward’s statement nearly a month ago to United fans to ‘watch this space’ hasn’t been followed by anything other than continued speculation. Fantastical claims from Woodward that United could break the world transfer record have remained just that, a fantasy.
It’s now over 50 days since Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw moved to Old Trafford. At a time when all other clubs around us have strengthened, United have sat back and bided their time. There may be a swathe of activity going on behind the scenes but with just 14 days to go, United’s squad simply is not good enough to compete.
Louis van Gaal is confident United could sign a player within 24 hours and the deals for Herrera and Shaw showed it can be done but United’s negotiation position is weak. Time is short and money is aplenty so clubs will force United to overpay. However, now is the time for United to stop penny pinching.
A new centre-back, full-back and midfielder is the bare minimum the squad needs but with so little time and so much to do, are United capable of completing more transfer activity in two weeks than they have in two months this summer?
Fans have been patient but Woodward has brought the pressure on himself to deliver with his comments throughout the transfer window and United have been forced into a desperate situation once again with deadline day looming.
Sacking David Moyes was the right thing to do as immediate change was needed but unless United improve the squad sufficiently, there is a real danger last season won’t just be a one off.