Where Are They Now? Adnan Januzaj – Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons suggested he was the boy that could do anything

Nine years ago, Manchester United signed 16-year-old Adnan Januzaj from Anderlecht after impressing in a skills session in Brussels, Belgium. After a seemingly glittering career in the academy at United, Januzaj was promoted to the first team during the 2012/13 season, which was also Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season at the club before retirement. Januzaj never featured inn the first team for Ferguson but was an unused substitute in his final game as United manager, a 5-5 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

For his performances for the then U21s, now the U23s, Januzaj was awarded the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award for the 2012/13 season. Under the management of David Moyes, despite this being his ill-fated season at the Old Trafford club, Januzaj kept his place in the first team squad, playing in the pre-season tour of Asia, scoring in the final tour match against Kitchee. In Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial at Old Trafford, Januzaj started, assisting United’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat to Sevilla.

In his debut season at the club, which was also his best in terms of bringing something to the team, Januzaj played 35 times in all competitions, scoring four goals and six assists – United only won the FA Community Shield that season, seeing Moyes sacked at Easter time and finishing seventh in the Premier League – the worst season to date. Ryan Giggs was the caretaker manager for the final four matches of the season with Louis van Gaal installed as the permanent manager during the summer, prior to the 2014/15 season, which needed to be a good one for United.

Januzaj only played 21 times that season, failing to score a single goal or assist, at least in the first team. Januzaj was loaned to Borussia Dortmund for the 2015/16 season, but after 12 appearances for the club, with no goals and three assists to his name, his loan spell was ended on the 6 January 2016 and he returned to United. He played seven times for United, scoring one goal and it was starting to look like the end of the road for the player at United.

During the 2016/17 season, Januzaj was loaned to Sunderland for the entire season, linking up with Moyes. Despite playing 28 times for the first team, the Belgian scored just one goal, assisting three times for the club. It was clear that Moyes rated the player but his lack of performances on loan would not keep him at United. In the summer of 2017, Januzaj signed a five-year contract with La Liga side Real Sociedad. It was a shame to see another bright youngster leave United, especially after periods of promise.

With United still reeling from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo at the time he broke through into the first team, with some comparisons at the time, many were let down. In his debut season (2017/18) in Spain, Januzaj made a total of 35 appearances for the Basque club, scoring four goals and a further six assists, playing in La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Europa League. During the 2018/19 season, Januzaj played just 24 times, scoring twice and assisting four more goals for his club.

In the 2019/20 season, which was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, Januzaj seems to be finding his feet and showing some promise. In 29 appearances throughout the season, before and after the coronavirus pandemic, the now 25-year-old has scored eight goals, assisting a further four, playing in La Liga and the Copa del Rey. So far, it was the best season of the Belgian’s career and it could be the start of something for the winger. It was a shame he never really made it at United but that does not mean he did not have ability – he had plenty of it. He has two goals in six appearances this season.

Different things happen at different times and people react differently. I am glad his career is seemingly picking up. As yet, it is not yet know whether La Liga will continue this season, if it does, Januzaj will be seeking to pick up where he left off. Real Sociedad were fourth in the league at the time the league was suspended, which could bring riches to the club in the form of European football. Seeing Januzaj shine will make me smile. The boy could do anything, except make it work at United.

Written by John Walker

Jan Vertonghen hints at Premier League stay as he’s linked to Manchester United

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has hinted that he could be set to remain in the Premier League this summer after leaving Spurs as a free agent after eight years at the club. The 33-year-old gave nothing away, refusing to rule out signing for a club in the Premier League this summer. As a free agent, the player will be weighing up his options as he contemplates his next move. The plater was reported by The Sun as saying:

“I’m considering the options and making a good choice. That will be out probably sooner rather than later.

“Obviously the window now is longer than it was last year, so we’ve got a bit of time to assess the best option.”

The Belgian defender was then asked about his next move and pressed on whether he could remain on the Premier League going into the 2020/21 season. Many will be wondering if there could be something in the links to Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a partner for Harry Maguire, although they club has been linked with Nathan Ake, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pau Torres. Vertonghen, when asked about remaining in the Premier League, replied by saying:

“It will all depend on the options. I’ve got something in my head and we’ll see if that will come around or not.”

Vertonghen signed for Spurs back in 2012 for £12 million and has made 315 appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals and seven assists in his time there. I am sure that he has plenty to offer his next club but I wonder if he could be the player to provide a partnership role to Maguire. The player has suffered eight major injuries at Spurs which could be something that happens at his new club, possibly more regularly because of his age. He would be a free agent so could allow Solskjaer to spend in other areas this summer.

That aside, I wonder if signing him, if United are interested, would be the best thing for the club. His experience could help the likes of Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, who seem to be the more trusted defensive players at the club right now and could help the likes of Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi in their development at the club. In terms of playing back to back matches and helping to guide United in the Premier League title race, I have my doubts.

Vertonghen is a classy player and has played some great matches for Spurs, but has also been involved on some poor matches, which is something that could be said for many players around the world right now. The 33-year-old is a professional player and has been lauded as that by manager Jose Mourinho and he was a crowd favourite whilst at Spurs. Speaking about his past season to talkSPORT, as reported by The Sun, Vertonghen said:

“I felt like I owed that to him and to Spurs in general, as it wasn’t my best season and I could be quite disappointed at times.

“But it was my task to train hard and respect team-mates when I wasn’t playing or on the bench, and I hope I did that.

“I had a great time, made a lot of friends and learned a lot of things both off the pitch and on the pitch.

“I will miss everyone, it’s been a great ride and it could have lasted longer but it is time now for it to end.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United and Spurs in race to sign Belgian right-back who is free agent this summer – reports

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier who is a free agent this summer. The reports state that the Belgian, 28, who has had a contract offer on the table at PSG since the autumn, seemingly not interested in signing it, therefore leaving the Paris club for free.

It is stated that Jose Mourinho, United’s former manager, is likely to pip his former club to the right-back, who is supposedly wanted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, this all seems a bit pointless being that United will seek to sell Diogo Dalot this summer, who is behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the right-back position.

Personally, I feel that Meunier was a target for United when Mourinho was the manager and the media have still continued suggesting that the player is a target, when in actual fact, with Wan-Bissaka’s performances this season, and the fact that Brandon Williams can play on either flank, not to mention the likes of Ethan Laird coming through the U23s.

It is reported that Meunier would like to stay at PSG after his contract aspired at the end of next month, but the fact he has not signed a new contract suggests either that he expects to leave the club and is being nice or that he’s not happy with the contract offer and would like to run the clock down so he can get more of what he wants to stay.

If this happens, despite the report suggesting that Spurs are ahead of United, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be United the misses out on a player that they do not really need at this moment in time. I mean, Axel Tuanzebe has played as a right-back for some of his career so far with Tim Fosu-Mensah also playing in that position.

The 28-year-old would not fall into Solskjaer’s youth category, which makes this a rumour that carries little weight and I doubt the former striker would change his plans to sign a free agent like Meunier, especially with the youth available to use in this position, which would be a bit part role being that Wan-Bissaka has earned his stripes this season.

This season, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football, then France cancelled all sporting events until September, which in turn ended Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 with PSG as the champions once again, Meunier has played a total of 27 times for PSG, scoring one goal and assisting two more. He may well have played his last game for PSG.

The club, however, is still in the UEFA Champions League after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 of the competition and with UEFA led competitions set to happen later in the summer, rumoured to be in August. Meunier, if that contract offer is not accepted, could have left he club before then, signing for another.

Still, that being said, it seems to be something that United will have little involvement in as I cannot see why Solskjaer would be interested in another right-back, considering the options at the club at this moment in time. Unless Wan-Bissaka is injured, he will play. United have many rotation options to get them through, so this is a non story for me.

At just £25 million, here’s why Toby Alderweireld should be a signing Manchester United should consider this summer

Manchester United’s bid to find a central defender who could add some steel to the defence this summer seems to be failing. The Old Trafford club has targeted Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and Harry Maguire of Leicester City have been the players hotly linked to the club this summer but so far, nothing seems close to happening.

Koulibaly is not likely to leave Napoli this summer, being that the club has brought in Kostas Manolas, a world class defender to strengthen their defence. United’s pursuit of Maguire seems to have gone south after that £70 million bid, which was rejected, with the club now seeking £80 million or more. Last summer, Maguire could have been United’s.

There is one option sitting there in plain sight, a cheap option, which may not be one for the future, more for now. £25 million would secure that transfer but there are some conditions. Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur. He’s 30 but a Premier League proven player. A player of many standards. A player that would strengthen United’s ailing defence.

It has been stated by Kristof Terreur, a journalist for Het Laatste Nieuws, that Alderweireld has that £25 million release clause in his contract this summer but it will expire 14 days before the closure of the Premier League transfer window, meaning United, or whoever, have just under a fortnight to get something sorted.

There is even footwork for a deal to be struck. Yes, £25 million will need to be paid but Terreur states that it is a figure that could be paid in instalments, even over a two-year period – no longer. Surely that would suggest that it is something United should at least be looking into. Alderweireld was a player wanted by Jose Mourinho and the club last summer and even many journalists thought i was happening.

Last season, in the Premier League alone, United conceded a total of 54 goals. It was their worst season, at least defensively, in the top-flight since the 1978/79 season. That is another record that has been broken post-Sir Alex Ferguson that the club should not be proud of. The thing is that United cannot head into another season with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof as the main defenders.

Last season, Lindelof was the best defender at the club, making a massive difference from his debut season, where he seemed out of place. Bailly has regressed considerably and suffers many injuries and is rash on the ball. Jones and Smalling have not really kicked on in the last six years and them getting new contracts was worrying. Rojo just does not fit into the club at this moment in time.

United have some youth players they could turn to, in order to strengthen the defence. Axel Tuanzebe had a good season on loan at Aston Villa, which could see him in with a chance and Tim Fosu-Mensah can play as a central defender, even in the defensive midfield. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has options but he needs a leader in the team. Right now, that is something not present and someone will need to stand up and be counted, being there 100% of the time to lead, not hide.

Spurs seem to have offered Alderweireld to Roma as part of a deal to sign Nicolo Zaniolo, so it suggests they do not necessarily want him to continue at the club this coming season. He is out of contract in a year, so Spurs could make money on him this summer only. The player also seems content right now, getting stuck into pre-season training, getting ready for the upcoming season, which could see him remain at Spurs or elsewhere.

During his career, in which the 30-year-old has played for Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Southampton and Spurs, he’s played a total of 395 matches, scored 24 goals, assisted 15 goals, playing 33,910 minutes of football. Over the last few seasons, he’s suffered two major injuries; a knee injury in the 2016/17 season, in which he missed nine matches and a hamstring injury in the 2017/18 season, in which he missed 29 matches.

That could be a worry with Alderweireld or any other player. Solskjaer might have plans to do things another way, looking for talented youth and building a team, which may take a few years but would get better results and show the players the way this club works, which has not been very prevalent over the past six years with United spending more than £700 million under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

Many of the players not working out, some still at the club today. There are no guarantees that United are in fact interested in Alderweireld but with the figure quoted for Maguire and the fact they have little chance signing Koulibaly, he is certainly an option but just not one for the future. At 30, he might have two to three years left at the top level of football, maybe longer.

It would be a gamble, but a relatively cheap gamble, considering more has been lost by the club buying and selling Angel Di Maria, loaning Radamel Falcao and buying Bastian Schweinsteiger, on signing the German, Ed Woodward actually said: “When people see Schweinsteiger on the team sheet, that’s gonna send some shivers down the spine.” It makes you wonder what goes through Woodward’s mind – no knowledge of football, anyway.

The curious case of Romelu Lukaku

In the post-Sir Alex Ferguson years, Manchester United have made a number of inadequate acquisitions in the transfer market. The cases of Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez in the eyes of many are the definition of failure. However, in Romelu Lukaku’s case, statistically speaking, the Belgian’s goal return is far from inadequate. 

With 42 goals in 93 appearances, Lukaku’s goal to game ratio is at 0.45, essentially scoring a goal in every other game. In spite of the forward’s superb goal tally, many fans want Lukaku to depart the club in the transfer window. But the question is, is the onslaught of criticism that Lukaku faces justified?

A prominent critique of Lukaku since his arrival in 2017, is that the towering number nine hasn’t fitted into United’s system. In the weeks proceeding his arrival, Jose Mourinho cited Lukaku as the perfect candidate to replace the sidelined Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In many ways, this is where Lukaku’s problems began.

In the season in which Ibrahimovic led the United attack, the Swede was predominantly used as a target man, similarly to Mourinho’s use of Didier Drogba at Chelsea. This meant Ibrahimovic’s height was the most utilised of his attributes. Mourinho used Lukaku in a similar role, which initially seemed like a logical decision.

In his first seven games for Manchester United, Lukaku scored a sensational seven goals. However, following his initial purple patch of form, both United and Lukaku’s form dropped significantly. Following losses against Huddersfield, Chelsea and Manchester City, Manchester United found themselves all but out of the running for the Premier League title.

In his first season in Manchester, Lukaku scored an admirable 27 goals in all competitions. In spite of his impressive goalscoring record, it was clear to many that Lukaku didn’t fit Mourinho’s view of a target man. It could be argued that the role Mourinho provided Lukaku limited the Belgian.

While at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Lukaku’s link-up play was sublime, at United it was almost non-existent due to the instructions designated to the striker by Mourinho. The sensational dummy Lukaku provided for Nacer Chadli for Belgium against Japan, signified that the former Chelsea forward had a wider repertoire than being a target man.

In the 2018/19 season, Lukaku struggled in an underperforming team. The most memorable moment for Lukaku is, unfortunately, a pejorative one. In a clash against rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Lukaku cleverly brought the ball around Hugo Lloris, but when faced with an open goal the Belgian fired it wide.

Ultimately, if Lukaku was clinical when faced with this golden opportunity, United would have led Tottenham by a goal to nil. The game ended with a 3-0 win to Spurs, a result that was disastrous for both Mourinho and the club. Following the departure of Mourinho, Lukaku found himself out of the starting line up under the new manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In spite of his exclusion from the starting eleven, Lukaku flourished from the bench. In Solskjaer’s first 11 games, Lukaku provided five goals, including a crucial double away at Paris Saint-Germain, in one of United’s greatest comebacks. However, it was clear from the offset that Lukaku didn’t fit into Solskjaer’s tactical vision.

The philosophy of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be a pressing based system, therefore relying on players with vast amounts of agility and pace. This meant that Marcus Rashford is the preferred option, as he provides pace, fluidity and stamina. Due to the fact Lukaku doesn’t fit into Solskjaer’s system, it seems almost inevitable that he will depart the club this summer.

In spite of the onslaught of criticism Lukaku receives his goal record dwarves many United ‘greats’. In his first Premier League season for the ‘Red Devils’  Lukaku bagged 16 goals and provided seven assists. In contrast, in the 1999/2000 season, Dwight Yorke netted 20 goals, while contributing three assists.

This means that both forwards contributed the same amount of goals and assists, which suggests Lukaku may have been treated harshly, especially as Dwight Yorke was perceived to be at his peak in the 1999/00 season. Furthermore, Wayne Rooney scored 11 goals in his first season at the club (2004-05) which Lukaku tops goalscoring wise by five goals.

This suggests that Lukaku’s onslaught of criticism may have been unfair, illustrated by the comparison to United ‘greats’.While Romelu Lukaku’s goal scoring record is sublime, it appears his popularity at Manchester United is at an all-time low. It seems inevitable that the Belgian will depart the club, amid interest from Inter Millan.

While Lukaku is a source of mockery for some Manchester United fans, his goalscoring record suggests that in the aftermath of Lukaku’s potential departure, the Belgian may have the last laugh.

Written by Alexei Braithwaite

Romelu Lukaku’s future at Manchester United seems shortlived as player asks to leave…

Romelu Lukaku has reportedly asked Manchester United to let him leave the club this summer. La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy carry the reports of the Belgian asking to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer. The 26-year-old has been linked to Inter Milan after former Chelsea and Juventus manager, Antonio Conte took over at the San Siro club.

It is suggested that Lukaku is impatient at United and wants a quick decision from the club as he looks to move to the Serie A after finding it difficult at United over the past two years, especially the past season after he was deposed by Marcus Rashford after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge of the club in December, getting the job permanently in March.

United will be looking to recoup most of if not all of the money paid to Everton for the striker in the summer of 2017 and it is suggested that Inter Milan is not keen on the reported £80 million asking price for the Belgian but if they want him, they cannot expect to have that fee reduced by refusing. That just won’t work. Want Lukaku? Pay up!

Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez recently spoke to the media about the player and stated that it was clear that Lukaku needed to leave United this summer. That admission may not help the player but will irk United a bit more. Looking at the situation, it seems the player is doing all he can to get others involved in the posturing, which could turn it toxic.

Lukaku needs to accept that if United let him leave this summer, it will be on their terms, not his. They owe him nothing at the end of the day. Lukaku agreed to sign a five-year contract two years ago, meaning he has three years left, plus the option of a fourth – so legally speaking, he’s committed to the club. Speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws and reported by The Mirror, Martinez said:

“It is clear that he has to leave Manchester United. It would be a good thing for both parties. It is now important that Romelu finds the right club.”

United will obviously need to find a replacement for Lukaku this summer and they have been linked with Moussa Dembele of Lyon and Sebastien Haller of Eintracht Frankfurt, although no further reports of the club being interested, or taking that interest further have emerged. As Lukaku has a minimum of three years left at United, it will make the club powerful in the decision and if they agree to let him leave, any interested club will have to meet their terms.

As it has already been reported that Inter Milan will not pay the reported £80 million asking price for the player, they will need to enter into negotiations with United, once a decision on Lukaku’s future has been made. It will be up to the Italian club to tempt United into agreeing on a possible deal. Previous reports have linked both Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, separately in deals to bring the cost down for Lukaku but United rejected both.

United have held an interest in central defender Milan Skriniar but Inter Milan rejected that attempt, which to me would suggest that the Italian club will only want to offload players they want rid of to bring in Lukaku and are not interested in getting rid of players that United might actually be interested in. That is not something that will get them what they want.

This may play on for a while yet, possibly into the new season, the way transfer negotiations seem to take United, anyway. Although the transfer window will close on the 8 August, just before the new Premier League season starts in England, the Italian club will have an extra nine days with the window closing on the 23 August. However, United will need a replacement, so a deadline on any possible deal should be put into place.

Manchester United have revived their interest in Youri Tielemans; is it just a game to hurry Harry Maguire deal?

Manchester United has reportedly revived their interest in Youri Tielemans. The 22-year-old Belgian midfielder was loaned to Premier League side Leicester City last season, doing well, especially towards the end of the season. The AS Monaco midfielder would be seeking a move away from the principality club this summer.

It is reported that United contacted Monaco at the end of the season to see if they would be prepared to do a deal in order for United to sign the player this summer. According to well-respected Belgian journalist, Kristoff Terreur, Ole Gunner Solslkjaer’s side has returned for more talks on the prospective deal for the 22-year-old.

Monaco is interested in selling Tielemans this summer but only if their valuation of £40 million is met, which would not be a problem for a club like United. It is suggested that United have earmarked Tielemans to replace Paul Pogba, who is likely to leave the club this summer with both Real Madrid and former club Juventus interested in the Frenchman.

Leicester City wants to secure the services of the 22-year-old this summer after the impact he made with the Foxes last season. The player scored 13 goals, with the player emerging as genuine talent in the Premier League. Manager, Brendan Rodgers would like to ensure the club retains the player, who would be paired in midfield with James Maddison, another player United has been linked with this summer.

Leicester will have to manage their transfer budget this summer, which is why they have not met Monaco’s valuation of the player yet. With United making contact, it could either provoke a reaction from Leicester to meet the fee they will need to play or lose the services of the player. However, with United interested in Harry Maguire, it could well be a move United have made to hurry up a deal for the England defender.

If it came to both clubs contending for Tielemans signature this summer, Leicester may feel that they have a chance of winning as the player spent a season at the club. However, United can offer UEFA Europa League football, something Leicester cannot, which could see the player signing for United if they are really interested in signing him. I guess we will see what the coming weeks bring as something will need to start happening soon as pre-season is just around the corner.

Romelu Lukaku reportedly agrees terms with Inter Milan – Manchester United exit coming?

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has reportedly agreed on terms with Inter Milan ahead of what could be an exit from the Old Trafford club this summer. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at the club in December 2018, Lukaku has in effect lost the role as the first-choice striker with Marcus Rashford edging ahead of him.

This speculation comes after the Belgian striker stated that former Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte was the ‘best manager in the world’. Conte has recently been confirmed as the new manager of Inter Milan. Rumours have been rife since the start of 2019 after Lukaku suggested that he had always wanted to play in Italy, something which could actually be happening for him. Lukaku reportedly said:

“I am a big Serie A fan, those close to me know that I have always wanted to play in the English league and in the Italian one, I love Italy.

“The transfer of [Cristiano] Ronaldo, the Italian league is now coming back. Now Antonio Conte going to Inter Milan, which is really good because he is, to me, the best manager in the world.

“You know I’m not somebody who likes to talk about my personal relationship with managers, but I’m a Manchester United player.”

Granted, there is no smoke without fire and the Belgian striker, despite breaking records for his country, has not been the same player at United. That is because there is little creativity in the current squad, which has meant the Belgian has not been provided with many great chances, although some had been created for him, he still missed many simple shots.

If United had a great creative player in midfield, it might all be different but if Lukaku does not want to be at United, he should be allowed to leave, as long as the price the clubs wants for him is paid. Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that terms between the player and the club have been agreed and the player could earn £6 million in bonuses.

However, United will be looking for around £70 million for the Belgian, who they paid £75 million four two years ago. Obviously, Solskjaer will have targets this summer, which he was going to try and get anyway but if a player like Lukaku left, United would then be in the market for a new striker, as they would not want to rely on Rashford, unless Anthony Martial changes positions, maybe even shirt numbers again.

At the end of the season, which was a disappointing one for United, Lukaku did suggest that he might be looking to leave the Old Trafford club this summer with recent comments stating that his mind has been made up and that his agent and the club would ‘talk about it’, which seemingly points to the player leaving the club, or there would be nothing to talk about. Lukaku said:

“The club and my agent will talk about it but I have already made my decision.

“I am going to enjoy my holidays with my family now. I know what I’ll do, but won’t say it. We’ll see.”

Whatever happens, it is not the end of the world for Manchester United. Lukaku has not exactly earned legendary status at the club and it is not set in stone that he could achieve that even if he remained at the club. If his head has told him that he wants to take up a chance to play in Italy, which is something he has dreamed about doing, then United and Solskjaer should not stand in his way, if they money being asked for him is paid.

Manchester United said to be ‘very close’ to signing Thomas Meunier from Paris Saint-Germain

Manchester United are ‘very close’ to signing Paris Saint-Germain and Belgium right-back Thomas Meunier this summer, at least according to reports in Belgium. It is reported that a number of clubs have made offers for the 27-year-old but he has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.

United have been linked to Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer but a fee of more than £40 million could see the penny-pinching club move for cheaper alternatives, Meunier being one of them. It is suggested that PSG could want as little as €25 million for the Belgian international.

United have a good prospect at right-back in 20-year-old but ideally, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would like an experienced player for him to learn from. United did have Antonio Valencia (who will leave the club this summer) and Ashley Young – neither being a true right-back, meaning Dalot would not learn much from players who have been converted from wingers.

A player such as Meunier would not block Dalot’s career as much as a player like Wan Bissaka, 21, would. Personally, I would rather United signed Wan-Bissaka but as a supporter of the club, my opinion is of little value. However, I would welcome a true right-back to the club, which would help solve defensive problems, in that area at least, also passing on valuable experience to a player who has great prospects, Dalot.

PSG need to offload players this summer in order to meet Financial Fair Play regulations, Meunier being just one of the players that could leave. United also have an interest in midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who will be a free agent this summer. Solskjaer will need to ensure he gets his team sorted this summer as if the lack of energy, attention, desire and determination carries over into next season, he could be the next managerial sacking at the club.

Obviously, that is not the way to do things as a club the size of United but it is the way they have done things post-Sir Alex Ferguson, sacking David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, none of which were given the money (Moyes), expertise of the transfer market (all of them) or the time to implement their philosophies into the club, which still seemed to be shocked after Ferguson retired. Solskjaer needs to be given time more than ever of this revolving door of managers will continue with lesser known names each time a sacking has been confirmed.

Marouane Fellaini is staying at Manchester United for another two years – reports

Marouane Fellaini is reportedly staying at Manchester United this summer, according to Duncan Castles. In his article which was written for Yahoo Sport, Castles has suggested that the Belgian midfielder will sign a new two-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams with Jose Mourinho reluctant to let the Belgian leave the club on a free. Fellaini’s contract was due to expire on Saturday and it was suggested that Fellaini would confirm his future on Sunday 1st July, which suggested he could announce his next move as a free agent.

Fellaini has previously stated that United had left it too late to keep him at the club, which was a comment the player may now have to retract based on the fact he’s not a fans favourite at the club and could have lost himself more supporters. United put the offer on the table late last year. Since then, Fellaini has been linked to a number of clubs in Europe with Arsenal seemingly on his radar. Unai Emery, the new Arsenal manager, was interested in Fellaini when he was at Paris Saint-Germain so it was safe to say the Spanish manager would be interested again.

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Fellaini joined United five years ago for a £27.5 million free from Everton, despite the fact he was £4 million cheaper earlier that summer. With Michael Carrick retiring this summer, United have brought in Fred to replace him. It was expected that Mourinho would need to bring in another midfielder this summer with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic hotly linked to the club but his fee would be more than that of Paul Pogba, which would mean United would not be able to strengthen in other places, so with Fellaini staying, the funds could now be spent elsewhere.

Fellaini is a player I would have accepted seeing the back of but he would also have been a player that would be missed. Yes, he’s not the fans favourite and he has made a few mistakes. Other players make mistakes and they are fans favourites who some fans will not have a bad word said about, which adds to the pathetic nature of a Manchester United player being hated by many. Yes, Fellaini may not have the talent to be classed as one of the best central midfielders in Europe but he does get results more often than not.

The fact that Fellaini has reportedly turned down Arsenal to remain at United must show the love the player has for the club, even if he has let us all down with the comments he has made in the Belgian media ahead of the FIFA World Cup, of which he is participating in with Belgium and could face England on Thursday evening when the two countries meet in the final group stage of the competition with both teams making the round of 16 with either Japan, Senegal, or Colombia likely to be the teams both England and Belgium face in the first knockout round.

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Fellaini has made a total of 156 appearances for United (97 as a starter and 59 as a substitute), scoring 20 goals in his nearly five-year career at the club. Last season, in a total of 23 appearances, Fellaini scored five goals; the second in a 2-0 victory over Leicester City at Old Trafford on the 26th August 2017, the opening goal in the UEFA Champions League in the 3-0 victory over Basel on the 12th September 2017, the second and third goal in a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on the 30th September 2017 and an added-time winner over Arsenal on the 29th April 2018.

Fellaini has scored some important goals for United, that victory over Arsenal being the most important once last season. The Belgian has something in his locker and he is of use more under Jose Mourinho than he ever was for David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. Whilst Fellaini is not a fans favourite and probably never will be, what he offers the club, despite what the supporters say about him is admirable. Just imagine, there are supporters who think Anthony Martial is a world beater despite bringing less to the table than Fellaini does…

copyright: JW