Manchester United are still alive in four different competitions and their recent FA Cup progress over Reading came at quite the price.
Andy Carroll’s disgusting challenge saw midfield mainstay Christian Eriksen subbed off and the Dane was later spotted leaving Old Trafford in crutches.
But that was not the worst part of the entire ordeal as manager Erik ten Hag later confirmed that the Denmark international is likely to be out till at least April.
United had the chance to replace Eriksen with Saul
With Scott McTominay also sidelined for a couple of weeks due to a muscular injury, the Red Devils were left short in midfield with Casemiro and Fred the only senior options at the Dutchman’s disposal.
The club was forced to enter the loan market once again and intermediaries jumped at the opportunity to get their client a dream move to Old Trafford.
Isco, Saul Niguez, Houssem Aouar & Yannick Carrasco have all been offered to Manchester United today.
But the club have decided to pursue a deal for Marcel Sabitzer instead. pic.twitter.com/q9JfSXNato
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 31, 2023
One such player who was offered to the 20-time English league champions was Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez as revealed on Sky Sports.
The Spaniard has been a bit-part player for Diego Simeone and has started only six La Liga games this term. However, he did score in his most recent appearance against Osasuna.
The 28-year-old versatile midfielder has also provided one assist in 22 games across all competitions for Atletico.
Saul’s Chelsea loan disaster did not help matters
His disastrous loan spell at Chelsea showed how difficult Saul found it to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League as he ended up starting only 12 times and completed a game a mere seven times.
“We could see Saul struggle to adapt to the intensity, instructions and style of play of the Premier League,” then-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel had told Sky Sports last September.
The Blues opted against making his loan move permanent and Ten Hag must have been aware of these issues.
Incidentally, United were also one of the clubs chasing his signature last season.
The Dutchman wanted a player who could provide energy in the centre of the park and had the passing range like Eriksen and in the end, the former Ajax coach deemed Marcel Sabitzer as the ideal replacement.