Manchester United have gone from one extreme to the other in terms of their transfer policy.
While the manager’s advice was taken into account but ultimately the board finalised everything, Erik ten Hag seemed to have the carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with the squad.
It has resulted in mixed results, trending towards negative, as United’s lack of vision beyond the manager’s targets has been criticised.
That could be about to change if Sir Jim Ratcliffe has his way.
The Daily Mail reports that the incoming decision-maker in sporting matters is set to target homegrown players in a departure from United’s current strategy.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants the core of a successful United side to replicate the qualities of Sir Alex’s great teams, which had a strong homegrown British flavour to it.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to do the same, signing the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Daniel James, to name a few, but it wasn’t very successful.
On the other extreme, only one of Ten Hag’s signings, Jonny Evans, is homegrown, and he was an emergency backup at the time of arrival.
Instead, Ten Has has sought to go with the tried and tested, scouring the market for players who he has seen firsthand, or better yet, played under him.
The ideal balance for United is probably somewhere in the middle. While giving the manager unilateral decision-making power leads to signings like Antony for £85 million, a singular focus on British players leads to Maguire signing for £80 million.
Regardless of Sir Jim’s priorities, a balance needs to be struck between the both and decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis.
However, it seems like the new decision-maker is finally going to rein in Ten Hag’s power in the market either way, which is what some fans have wanted since the dependence on him seemed too striking.