Erik ten Hag is set to begin work as new Manchester United boss on June 27th, when players who were not on international duty return for pre-season training. The Dutch coach had handed his list of targets when he decided to take over the Old Trafford hot seat but till date, no player has come through the revolving door at United.
In even more worrisome news, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has just confirmed that Derby County starlet Malcolm Ebiowei has chosen to sign for Crystal Palace despite interest from the Red Devils. And the news has not been taken too kindly by the legions of supporters on social media who are desperate for signings.
The 18-year-old Ebiowei had a breakthrough season under Wayne Rooney as he appeared 16 times for the first team. Despite the difficult circumstances at the club, the attacker shone brightly, netting once and assisting a further two.
His direct approach play and ability to beat a man was praised by all and sundry and it was a matter of time before the big boys came knocking considering the Rams’ relegation and financial woes.
English talent Malcolm Ebiowei won’t join Manchester United. He’s set to sign his contract with Crystal Palace after medicals completed this week, it’s a done deal. 🚨🔵🔴 #CPFC
Ebiowei will leave Derby County to join Palace – contract will be valid until June 2027. pic.twitter.com/EMtfJiwIbS
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 22, 2022
The former Arsenal youth product is set to sign a five-year deal with the Eagles and will be eyeing increased first-team opportunities under Patrick Vieira.
It was widely reported that both United and Tottenham were tracking the versatile forward for some months now. The Red Devils had even held talks with the player’s entourage recently in a bid to thrash out a deal.
United have options
While supporters are right to feel aggrieved, the former Rangers player is not a polished diamond just yet. And last season was his first genuine experience of getting minutes in competitive senior football.
His work ethic was the reason Arsenal did not offer him a scholarship but Rooney has praised his attitude and his penchant for cutting in with his left foot would definitely have helped the 20-time English giants, who have a clear weakness on the right side.
For too long, the club has signed left wingers who can do a job on the right which has meant the squad bears a lopsided look.
However, if the signing had been successful, it would have been one for the future at best. The club already have Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri on their books, both of whom are right wingers. Jadon Sancho was also signed to address that issue even though surprisingly he has been played more often on the left.
Even young Anthony Elanga can play there while the three-time European champions are currently looking at Ajax wide man Antony as their primary attacking signing.
The Brazilian would represent a far more astute purchase as he can hit the ground running and directly slot into the first team.
It is far more important that United stop dilly-dallying and conclude their deal for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong in time ahead of the start of pre-season. All of United’s rivals have already strengthened considerably in the transfer window.