Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has admitted Manchester United’s spending power showed in Saturday’s clash between the two sides.
Jose Mourinho welcomed back key players Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Marouane Fellaini. They cost over £100m alone, while Man United’s matchday squad was worth hundreds of millions.
Pogba, United’s club record transfer, was in fantastic form on his return, assisting Anthony Martial’s first-half equaliser and scoring the Reds’ third goal himself in the second period.
“It’s simple and clear,” Benitez stated, “when you spend so much money on players of this quality, it is to make a difference in games.”
United’s most expensive players were the key players on Saturday evening at Old Trafford. That world-class quality that comes with the club’s great financial power separated the sides. Saying that, academy graduate Marcus Rashford was part of some wonderful attacking moves, and he cost nothing in transfer fees.
Ibrahimovic famously joined United ‘on a free from PSG’. Benitez is correct, though, it was a tale of two unevenly matched sides. United full of wealth and talent, and Newcastle and Benitez having their hands tied by a limited amount of money to spend.
United will keep spending, because that’s what top clubs do. Their first goal scorer, Martial, cost an initial £36m and was the world’s most expensive teenager at the time. Their third was Pogba, the world’s most expensive footballer when he joined in 2016. The fourth was Romelu Lukaku, who signed for Mourinho for £75m from Everton this summer. It works. As long as young Mancunians like Rashford are also given chances, there’s nothing wrong with it.