There is no doubt that Manchester United have had a successful transfer window during the summer.
The club have done well in recruiting some of the high-profile recruits that have come through the doors at Old Trafford, with all the acquisitions strengthening Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
United brought in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo through the doors, spending around £125million to push on and mount a title challenge this season.
Before the signing of 36-year-old Ronaldo, most of the Old Trafford faithful were relatively pleased with the business they conducted but were clinging to the hope of one more player arriving before the market shut.
It was rumoured that United were looking at a holding midfielder as the final piece of the puzzle to complete Solskjaer’s team, however, at the time, there were others who believed the club needed another striker instead to compete with the rest.
Indeed, former United player and current pundit, Gary Neville, argued before the signing of Ronaldo that United needed to go one step further in the transfer market in order to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea.
He said on Monday Night Football: “I am struggling to understand why Manchester United are not going that extra step in this transfer window.
“They are going to have to get a centre-forward at some point, why not get the man now to give them that impetus to get towards that 95 points? Because I don’t think they can just with Sancho and Varane.”
Although Neville on this occasion was speaking about United going in for Tottenham striker Harry Kane, his point was clear. He thought United needed another number nine to challenge. With Ronaldo, they now have that.
Going back to the shrewd piece of business by United, you can only commend the club for getting the deals done. After all, the three new player’s are bringing something different to the team and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has options in how he wants to play.
Bringing in £30million for the exit of Daniel James also has to be applauded, because arguably, Leeds United overpaid for his services. It has definitely balanced the books and the team seems to be in a better position than it was a few seasons ago.
However, we cannot escape an underlying issue here.
It’s important that supporters don’t forget what happened almost three months ago. The owners of United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all signed up to break away from Champions League football in favour of an elitist and Americanised change to our game.
This angered supporters from across the country and ignited scenes that have never been seen in the game before. Rival supporters collided together to bring the European Super League scandal to an end… at least, for the English clubs.
The response from United’s faithful was perhaps the most significant out of any other supporter set in the country because it wasn’t just a protest outside Old Trafford against the Super League. It was a protest against the Glazer Family’s legacy.
It undoubtedly increased anxiety levels at the top of United’s hierarchy, so much so that it made co-owner, Joel Glazer, speak to supporter club’s for the first time in over 16 years. The fact that is even a thing is a disgrace in itself.
Since then though, they have responded with the paintwork of Old Trafford and three outstanding signings, so they have responded, but it isn’t enough when you consider what they’ve put United supporters through for the past few years.
Under their regime, United fell behind the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City and although communication still needs to improve, the signs were good this summer.
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Certainly, the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has been a fans signing, in the sense that they probably knew it would appease supporters. There is no doubting his quality as a player, of course, but there’s no better signing to make to get the supporters on board.
However, it would be wrong to forget not just the past few months but the 16 years since they took over the club.
Communication needs to be regular with the fanbase and United’s support need to have more of a say in what goes on at the football club. Until then, nothing should be entirely forgiven.
Ronaldo’s signing, alongside Varane and Sancho, is a good start, but in order for the Glazer family to be let off the hook, they need to repair the damage they’ve caused since 2005.
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