Man Utd: Pundit accuses Ed Woodward of lying about transfers
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Manchester United would be looking very different if Ed Woodward had signed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top three transfer targets. The Red Devils landed Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani – but they weren’t the preferred names on the 48-year-old’s wishlist. So Express Sport will now bring you an alternative XI.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
For the most part this season, David De Gea has been United’s No 1.
Though the Spain international isn’t the same player he was during the Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal eras, he’s still a vital asset to Solskjaer nonetheless.
He started off the season as a regular before recently jetting off to Spain, affording Dean Henderson a crack at the No 1 jersey.
So, regardless of who United signed last summer, De Gea would have stayed a constant.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw
United’s defence did well enough last week.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire both enjoyed positives first seasons at the club following their arrivals from Crystal Palace and Leicester respectively.
And Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof were both far more consistent than they were during Mourinho’s spell in charge.
Therefore, United didn’t intend to tinker.
Yet that may change at the end of the season with moves for Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde and Max Aarons mooted.
Midfield: Pogba, Bellingham, Fernandes
United, had all gone to plan, would have signed Jude Bellingham.
They sorely wanted the teenager, who recently flourished for England against San Marino – earning praise from Roy Keane in the process.
United showed Bellingham around their Carrington training complex yet, in the end, missed out to Borussia Dortmund.
Their loss has been the Bundesliga giants’ gain, with the former Birmingham star enjoying life at the Westfalenstadion so far.
And, had he joined, he’d have likely been deployed alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in midfield.
Attack: Sancho, Rashford, Grealish
United have used Marcus Rashford down the middle this term, with varying degrees of success.
But the England international’s goal tally may have been even higher had the club been successful in signing Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.
Sancho was seen the solution to the club’s problems on the right wing, an area they’ve struggled in since Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid in 2009.
And United thought Grealish ticked numerous boxes after keeping Aston Villa in the top flight.
So, had all gone to plan, Solskjaer could have deployed all three together in a formidable attacking trident. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Though United want to bolster their squad this summer, Solskjaer has fired a warning to supporters.
“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.
“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”
He then added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.
“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”
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