In recent years, as we are all aware, Manchester United have singed some very promising players, with promising being the key word. Ed Woodward, executive vice-chairman of the red devils, has spent mega bucks at Old Trafford bringing in some of the worlds best. These include the likes of World Cup winner Paul Pogba, Belgium superstar Romelu Lukaku and Chile international Alexis Sanchez. Which as you can imagine, didn't do their bank balance any favours. Here's an example for you.
Alexis Sanchez earns £350,000 per week.
Making him the highest earner in the Premier League. Alexis Sanchez signed back in January 2018. Since putting pen to paper at Old Trafford, the impact he's had on the team hasn't exactly been impressive to say the least. He has made just over 40 appearances for the Premier League giants, netting just 3 times. Yes, just 3. For a player taking over £1 Million a month out of the club purely on his wages, it would be a fair comment to make if I said I expected more. This isn't even the scariest part, Alexis earns an extortionate amount just from his bonuses. The contract he signed means he makes £75,000 for making an appearance, i'll let you do the maths, if you dare.
Is there something wrong behind the scenes at Old Trafford?
I wouldn't have a negative opinion on the matter if Alexis backed up his wages with goals/assists etc, in some ways it doesn't make sense. When the Chilean international joined the Premier League back in 2014, he enjoyed 5 very successful seasons with the North London side and top 6 rivals Arsenal. With his most impressive season coming in 2016/17 where he found the net 24 times for the Gunners also finding goals in the Champions League and Arsenal's FA Cup winning campaign, where Alexis put in a man of the match performance in their 2-1 win over London rivals Chelsea at the world famous Wembley stadium. To then 2 seasons later becoming one of the worlds biggest 'flops'. Strange indeed.
Is this the only time this has happened on the red side of Manchester?
2018/19 saw Ed Woodward bring in the likes of central midfielder Fred and defender Diego Dalot. A combined amount of £72 million. You have to ask yourself, in their first season, have they made enough of an impact? There's two ways of looking at it. In their defence it is their first season in the Premier League, a league like no other however, when you're paying this amount of money, shouldn't they make an impact from the beginning? Weather that be through goals and assists or overall good performances. Or is it today's market and that is what you have to pay for average players? It can't just be me that thinks that the money spent at this club could be spent 'smarter' if you like.
Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.
These two giants, not only physically, were brought into the club for a combined £160 million. A very decent amount of money, and in my opinion it's a very similar story to the Alexis Sanchez transfer. Why is it that when stars join United recently, they struggle to perform. Is it the pressure? Is it the manager? The fans? Lets rule them out.
These are professional footballers who have all done it on big stages before however, Old Trafford and the stature of the club could play a part in the pressure but you'd think as professional athletes they'd be able to play through that. The pressure of the amount of money they came in for could play an impact? None of the players have moved to a club for the amount of money they did but again, you'd expect them to play through this.
Now this is one we can rule out quickly and easily. Manchester United have had two managers in the seasons these two players have been at the club and the performances haven't edged. Both Mourniho and Ole have struggled to get the most out of these two players.
Do the United faithful expect too much from these players? Surely not. The previous teams they played for, they both exceeded brilliantly. Performing at a very high level. Romelu Lukaku having loan spells away from Chelsea at West Brom where he made his name in 2012/13 making 35 appearances for the baggies and scoring 17 goals. Romelu also had 4 very successful seasons with Premier League side Everton, where in his last 2 seasons where he made his point to the rest of the league. Scoring 18 in 2015/16 and scoring a magnificent 25 in 2016/17, which brought in the interest of European giants Manchester United. £72 million later, he's holding a red shirt and singed a contract.
Paul Pogba, a hard debate. With the Manchester United youth system not working out well for him, he got a move to Italian side Juventus, where he also 'made his name' as he put in outstanding performances on the biggest of stages. Impressing Europe with his flare and unique play style. To which he then decided to move back to Old Trafford in 2016, where he has underachieved to his standards. Or has he? The Midfielder hasn't lived up to expectations, making 142 appearances, scoring 31 goals and assisting 29. I mean, for a midfielder, are the stats even that bad? I think it is the general performances that let him down. With France and Juventus, he has a presence on the pitch and he does make a difference just put it that way, and with United I personally don't get that kind of vibe if you like. Very strange. Definitely not a flop but fans did expect a lot more. For me the rumored talk of Paul Pogba wanting to find a 'new challenge elsewhere' is a very smart move.
What now for United and signings?
I feel Manchester United are already trying a different approach this transfer window. All the players they've been linked with have been young prospects. They have completed the signing of Daniel James, for £15 million. In my opinion, it's exactly what they need. Young players who want to make an impact, who want to be seen, who want to work hard and who want to play for the badge. I feel like a lot of Manchester United fans would agree with me. The red devils have also been linked with West Ham defender Issa Diop, who has had a brilliant opening season for The Hammers. Aaron Wan - Bissaka has also been a target, with United's first bid of £40 million being rejected. Will they go on for a second bid? You'd like to think so. Young talents who want to make an impact is the key for United this transfer window in my opinion. Weather this happens or not, we will have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!