Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken exclusively to CaughtOffside to discuss some of his old club’s work in the transfer market this summer.
Chadwick has already named Man Utd and Chelsea as the two main winners of the transfer window, but he had some further thoughts on two players who’ve ended up staying at Old Trafford, and one who left.
There’s always plenty of transfer gossip and speculation surrounding the big names at United, and it’s perhaps a little surprising that those rumours didn’t really go anywhere with both Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba.
Van de Beek has barely played for United since joining from Ajax last summer, and it wouldn’t have been surprising to see the neglected Netherlands international move on.
Chadwick certainly thinks it’s a “bizarre” situation for such a top player to find himself in.
“Van de Beek’s had a really quiet time, it’s been tough for him so far,” Chadwick said. “There’s a chance maybe that he could come in and play that holding role, though he’s more of an attacking player.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how much game time he gets between now and January. It has been one of the most bizarre transfers I’ve seen in terms of the finances paid for him and the reputation he’s brought with him, and that lack of game time he’s had since joining the club.”
Pogba, meanwhile, is into the final year of his contract, so it’s decision time for United in terms of handing him a new deal or losing him on a free in a year’s time.
The France international has been a key player for United, but he’s also proven somewhat divisive among the fan-base due to his inconsistency and tendency to make the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Chadwick, however, hopes that United’s business this summer can persuade Pogba to commit his future to the club.
“I think the business that United have done has got to help them keep Pogba,” Chadwick said. “It’s a club looking to win trophies and they’ve brought in the best possible players to help them do that.
“Varane and Sancho are two world class players, and then one of the best ever in Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s got to make Pogba think this is a team that’s going to win trophies. It’s now important for the club to follow through with that on the pitch.
“The board have done their bit and now it’s time for the team to get it together and convince world class players that Manchester United is the place to be. If the club can make a strong start to the season then hopefully Pogba will see that and put pen to paper on a new deal.”
Finally, Chadwick admitted he’s slightly disappointed to see Daniel James leaving for Leeds after showing some promise in his time at Old Trafford.
He concedes, however, that the Wales international is now probably at the stage of his career where he needs to be playing more regularly and could benefit from the switch to Elland Road.
“Dan James is a really promising player. For his career I think it was good to move on, with Sancho coming in,” Chadwick said.
“He started a couple of games and did fine, but he’s at the age now where he needs to be playing week in, week out. I think the game Leeds play, he’s got the energy to fit in well there. Hopefully he can go from being a bit of a bit-part player at Man United and become a key player at Leeds.
“I’m disappointed to see a hard-working player leave, but it’s probably the best for him.”