Written by James Jackson @Doublejayz72
After the horrendous fall off in form from Manchester United towards the end of last season, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer made the unprecedented step of saying to the press that:
‘If you want to play at this club, it has to mean more. I want my team to be the hardest working team in this league. I’m going to be successful here, and there are players there that won’t be part of that successful team’
It was exactly what the fans wanted to hear. Years of under investment in key areas and three managers with different philosophy’s meant that we had a squad that didn’t really suit the attacking brand of football that Ole was determined to instil in the team.
Ole played under the best ever in Sir Alex Ferguson, a team with a belief and ability to win no matter who the opponent may be. But the teams were also fit and above all was full of fast counter attacking players with lethal instincts in front of goal.
Maguire looks a leader at Old Trafford
As soon as the window opened Ander Herrera as expected made his move to PSG, so we will continue to detail initially the outgoings. Along with Herrera on permanent deals, Matteo Darmian, Romelu Lukaku, exited followed after the Premier League deadline by Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling all moving to Serie A in Italy.
Being brutally honest Darmian has been leaving Old Trafford ever since he arrived but a few of the players that did leave were mourned. Lukaku although desperate to leave has left a gap up front that surely will need filling in January. Despite having his critics, Lukaku had a very good scoring record scoring 42 goals in just two seasons. There were also more than a few critics over the Herrera deal, but for me ultimately if you even have the thought of leaving Man United in your head, then you should leave because you don’t deserve to play there.
From a business point of view though that’s a whole sack of money saved on wages which frees up squad places for potential in-comings. With regards to in-comings, there was a statement of intent attached to every one of them and I’ll tell you why.
United have found another Welsh wing wizard in Daniel James
Ole must have known that signing a young Welsh player in Daniel James from the Championship is not what the United fans or the media expected when the window opened. The onus for so long has been on marquee players on big wages and even bigger ego’s, but that’s not how he wants his team to operate. Ole wants young hungry players that actually want to play for the team and not just guys chasing a pension move so they can buy another mansion somewhere.
James has started the season like an absolute freight train scoring goals and terrorising defences with breath-taking pace and laser guided finishing. It’s too early to say what he could become but for now £15m looks like we’ve pulled Swansea’s pants down.
In Harry Maguire, Ole got the general that he needed to martial the back line and add steel to a defensive line that all too often leaked goals at a rate that cost United numerous games and ultimately the last manager his job. Maguire is beginning to form a partnership with Victor Lindelof but I think possibly another centre back will be brought in within the next year or so. Maguire is dominant in the air and can carry the ball out of defence but he isn’t quick and can be caught out of position. But he has leadership and that’s a quality that has been sadly lacking at Old Trafford in recent years.
My buy of the summer is Aaron Wan-Bissaka, not only is he lightning quick and also a physical presence but he resembles a long wall somewhere in China. If you manage to beat him and that is a huge if, the chances are that he overtakes you and takes the ball off you or puts in a tackle coming away with the ball. As with Daniel James, AWB looks like if he becomes half the player his potential shows so far, his fee will look like Crystal Palace had their trousers dragged down below their ankles. Man United still need to invest but there is a method in Ole’s madness, get strapped in because it might be bumpy but it will be exciting.