Manchester United’s worries of the past decade are down to bad player recruitment but the position they find themselves in financially is another matter altogether.
Of course, Glazers’ debt has ultimately crippled the club, but it is their inability to sell well which has left them in the trailing lane behind the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.
Another summer of below-par sales was seen in the summer transfer window and another player is making his selling fee look like an absolute bargain.
Zidane Iqbal signed for Erik ten Hag’s former club FC Utrecht in the summer for a meagre fee of just £1 million.
After not being able to play much for the club due to injuries, he finally stamped his authority recently, against giants Feyenoord no less.
In only his fourth Eredivisie appearance, Iqbal was the creative maestro of the Utrecht side which fought valiantly but lost away to more-fancied Feyenoord 2-1.
Before being subbed off as he built his match fitness after his injury return, Iqbal had 67 touches of the ball, which he expertly used.
He was stationed as the defensive midfielder in a double pivot of a 4-2-3-1 and used the ball to circulate possession in the face of Feyenoord’s intense press.
He completed 47/50 passes, completed all three of his long balls and managed to win five out of seven ground duels.
Iqbal was not just calm in possession, he was also combative out of it, as evidenced by his defensive stats.
The Iraq national won all four of his tackles, had two intercepts and clearances each and completed his sole dribble in a complete defensive midfield performance.
Zidane Iqbal’s game by numbers vs. Feyenoord:
94% pass accuracy
47/50 passes completed
5/7 ground duels won
4/4 tackles won
3/3 long balls completed
1/1 dribbles completed
In complete control. 🎮 pic.twitter.com/0PhEXkpqqi
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 20, 2023
His display left the fans purring about his potential as he showed early signs of a great player after his injury return.
It is notable that United do retain a sell-on clause and first refusal if he was ever sold by Utrecht.
If he keeps this form up, United just might use those clauses to engineer another homecoming for a player yet again sold for peanuts.