Manchester United completed the summer 2021 transfer window in style, signing Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, which is widely considered a job well done. However, the job is not yet complete as United will require a striker and at least a defensive midfielder in 2022.
In the summer, it was stated that if United ended up with a defensive-minded midfielder, they would have had a very positive transfer window which would have strengthened the team in all areas. However, United are finding many problems in the midfield with Nemanja Matic considered as the only experienced defensive midfielder and his age not allowing him to play back to back matches regularly.
That said, the striker position will need strengthened in the summer with Edinson Cavani likely to leave the club, if he does not leave in January, with Anthony Martial also tipped for an exit, especially with the rumours that Newcastle United would be interested in signing the forward – even though there needs to be a solid interested, not just a rumour being born out of the £300 million takeover at the end of the week.
One striker that would fit in at United is Erling Haaland. United reportedly missed out on signing the player during the January 2020 transfer window with the player leaving RB Salzburg at the time. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had previously managed the player at Molde and United would have signed a considerable bargain at the time but Ed Woodward’s attempts to cut Mino Raiola out of the deal failed and Haaland signed for Borussia Dortmund – where he has continued his success.
Haaland has developed well at each club he has played for, starting at Byrne, where he made 16 appearances, not scoring a single goal or assist. At Molde, he made a total of 50 appearances, scoring 20 goals and six assists. At RB Salzburg, he made 27 appearances, scoring 29 goals and seven assists, which is where bigger clubs started to notice the Norwegian. At Dortmund, he has made a total of 67 appearances, scoring 68 goals and 19 assists, showing his improvement in the game.
Haaland has made a total of 161 appearances during his career, scoring 117 goals and 32 assists, which gives him, on average, a goal every 0.73 matches, assisting every 0.20 matches and offering a goal contribution every 0.93 matches, which is sooner or later going to get him in one of the biggest clubs in European football where he will be seeking to compliment the squad and win some of the biggest honours in the game. With the right tactics he could achieve that at United with the squad that has been built so far.
In September, it was reported that United Football Director, John Murtough and Solskjaer held a meeting about the clubs future transfers and they both agreed that Haaland was the better bet for the future, which is something that I would agree with. However, that does not mean that it will be easy for United to sign the striker as there will be many different clubs in for him in the summer of 2022 with his €75 million release clause at the Bundesliga club comes into effect.
Haaland’s physicality is suited to the Premier League an I am sure that he will bag loads of goals leading the line for a club in the league. United will be seeking to be the frontrunners for his signature by Raiola will stand in the way of any potential deal and with that man, nothing can be guaranteed as he likes to make money and move his players on from club to club.
This is the only real negative here. I am sure that Haaland would be interested in a Premier League move, which is arguably one of, if not the best league in Europe based on the competitive nature of the league at the fact that it does not seem to be a one horse race which is what we have seen in the past decade, and longer in some of Europe’s top leagues.
Written by John Walker