Manchester United must get this transfer window right or risk falling even further behind Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Erik ten Hag arrives in Manchester with his family this weekend, ahead of the start of pre-season training on Monday morning.
It’s been just over two months since the official announcement of his appointment, an appointment that was made following three separate interviews.
During the interview procedure, Man Utd were impressed with the Dutchman’s vision for the club, his coaching philosophy, and the players he needed to sign in order to kick-start his reign.
But, as some of the squad prepare to return to training next week, United still haven’t managed to sign a single player.
And while new CEO Richard Arnold has told fans says that funds are available for the new manager, it remains to be seen when the money will be spent, and how much there is.
It’s been doubly frustrating for United supporters who have seen Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City – all clubs that finished ahead of them in the Premier League last season – strengthen their squads.
Yes, it’s about signing the RIGHT players, but United fans have good reason to feel worried, quite simply because of how the club has behaved in the transfer market since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013. It’s been one disaster after another.
The word from the club is that they are still on track and that signings will arrive.
But with debts rising and work still to be done on the stadium, training ground and with transfers, fans are hoping it’s not going to be another painful summer window.
To make matters worse and to infuriate fans even more, the Glazer family are taking another £11m dividend out of the club. Fair?
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Part of United’s problem is shifting some of the existing players in order to free up more funds.
Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba end Lee Grant have all left for free, but clubs are reluctant to sign the likes of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones because of the astronomical wages they’re currently taking home.
Manchester United supporters aren’t panicking yet and they understand that all the problems they have will not be solved in one transfer window.
They believe they can conclude deals for Christian Eriksen, Frenkie de Jong and Antony, but until they’re seen holding the famous red shirt, supporters will need convincing that this really is the start of another new era.
Ten Hag’s first season will be a tough one, and it may be that United have to put up with missing out on Champions League football again.
But to be given half a chance of getting where he wants to be, Ten Hag has to be supported as much as possible with the players he requested in April.
This will ensure that when the international players return in July, there’s a few new faces to lift momentum ahead of a critical campaign.