Can Manchester United get their season back on track?

Man Utd Central’s latest recruit, Simon Lotz, assesses whether or not the Red Devils can get their 2020/21 season back on track after a sub-par transfer window.

Matchweek 6 has just finished in the Premier League and it is no secret that Manchester United have not had the best start to the season, with them currently sitting 15th on the Premier League table. Many pundits and fans believe it could be due to their lacklustre transfer window and the significant lack of investment.

Manchester United seemed to have missed out on their no.1 transfer target this summer in Jadon Sancho after the club reportedly refused to pay Borussia Dortmund’s asking price of €120 million. This left many fans frustrated at the club’s lack of willingness to invest.

Union’s Christopher Trimmel (L) in action against Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (R) during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Union Berlin in Dortmund, Germany, 01 February 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY Photo by FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK.

Manchester United did however complete five transfers over this summer window with four of them coming on deadline day. The club signed Donny van de Beek for a reported fee of €40 million from Ajax Amsterdam on a five-year contract.

This signing left fans in two minds because on the one hand, he is an exciting midfield talent but on the other hand, he is adding another midfielder to the squad, a position in which United have a lot of depth.

Since his signing for the club, van de Beek has not started a single league game, leading fans to believe this was a panic buy by the Manchester United board in an attempt to satisfy them, due to their otherwise lack of investment in the window.

Another questionable signing made by United this window was the signing of the Uruguayan striker Edison Cavani on a one-year contract from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Edinson Cavani of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 24, 2020 in Manchester, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY OLI SCARFF/POOL/GETTY IMAGES.

The striker had seemed to be past his prime and had not played a competitive game of football in 7 months, before his debut for United against Chelsea this past weekend, where he made an appearance off the bench.

This poor transfer window and lack of investment showed in Manchester United’s opening game of the season against Crystal Palace, in which United lost 1-3. United then enjoyed three away wins on the bounce, one against Luton Town in the EFL Cup and then two away at Brighton, one in the EFL Cup and the other in the Premier League.

United then returned home in match week 4 to face Tottenham Hotspurs and their old boss José Mourinho, where they were embarrassed by Mourinho’s team in a massive 1-6 defeat.

They then enjoyed away wins once again, a 1-4 win against Newcastle United in match week 5 and a 1-2 win against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League. They then returned back to Old Trafford again to face Chelsea in match week 6 and once again gave a very lacklustre performance in a 0-0 draw.

Harry Maguire fouling Cesar Azpilicueta in the penalty area at Old Trafford. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE INDEPENDENT.

The lack of investment in the summer transfer window has clearly shown in Manchester United’s poor start to the season, but the season isn’t over yet.

United have a good core of young players at the club and many world-class players, such as Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, to name a few.

United have looked good and dominant in most of their away wins this season, all they need to do now is transfer that away form into home form.

Manchester United certainly have the quality of players to make top 4 in the Premier League this season, as they did last season. Will the Red Devils season finish on a high or go from bad to worse? Only time will tell.

Simon Lotz
Manchester United Central staff writer.
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