Manchester United haven’t made the best start to the summer transfer window, with rivals Liverpool beating them to the signing of Darwin Nunez, while Erling Haaland has been unveiled by Manchester City.
While it’s still early days yet, this really isn’t what Man Utd fans will want to be seeing right now, with their team far enough behind Liverpool and City already last season, and with those two teams now stronger while it’s all looking a bit quiet at Old Trafford.
Former Red Devils ace Luke Chadwick isn’t too pleased to see how it’s gone so far, as he praised the signing of Nunez for Liverpool and admitted the recruitment team now had a huge job on their hands to catch up.
“It’s a really strong statement of intent from Liverpool and a good signing for them,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “I remember seeing his performances against Liverpool in the Champions League and he really excelled in those games.
“He offers something a bit different, he’s quite a traditional number 9, rather than Liverpool’s goal-scorers of recent years who play out wide, or Roberto Firmino in that false-9 role.
“I think it makes them stronger, and it was important to make that signing given that Sadio Mane is moving out of the club. It’s important as well in terms of Manchester City announcing the signing of Erling Haaland.
“It shows where United are at this moment in time, sadly. If you’re a player coming from overseas at this moment in time, unfortunately, Liverpool are a more attractive proposition.
“Nunez has shown he’s got to the potential to be a really successful Premier League player, so it’s a disappointment for United to miss out. But it’s not surprising at all really, considering the direction Liverpool are going in, in comparison to United.”
Chadwick admitted it would be a bit of a change in style from Liverpool, but didn’t expect there to be problems in terms of Nunez clashing with Mohamed Salah in the hunt for goals.
“On paper, it looks like two wide players and Nunez in the middle, but in reality it’ll be quite different. Liverpool had to replace the goals of Mane, which they look to have done, albeit in a different position,” Chadwick said.
“We know Salah’s hungry for goals and he’ll do that regardless of who’s playing with him, but there can’t just be a burden on him to score all the goals. I’m sure Salah wants to be in a successful team, so I’m sure he’ll be pleased with this signing, another goal-scorer just makes them stronger.
“Salah can look like he gets the hump if he doesn’t get the ball, and he’s very single-minded in terms of getting shots on goal, as all good strikers should be, sometimes there are players in better positions. Still, the environment Klopp’s created there, I’m sure they’ll both just be focused on helping the team do as well as possible. If they’re both scoring, it just puts Liverpool in a stronger position.”
What next for Man Utd after missing out on Darwin Nunez transfer?
It looks like United are fast running out of options for someone to come in up front, which is a big worry for a club so urgently in need of reinforcements in attack.
MUFC were overly reliant on an ageing Cristiano Ronaldo last season, and they’ll now also be without Edinson Cavani after he came to the end of his contract.
Sadly, Chadwick can’t think of any ideal players out there now after Nunez moved to Anfield and Haaland’s move to City was made official yesterday.
“For United, there’s no one that stands out who’s likely to be available,” Chadwick said. “The best goal-scorers have gone to Man City and Liverpool, unfortunately, so it’s certainly a time for the recruitment team to pull out the stops to find these players.
“I can understand United fans are going to get a bit more edgy the longer it takes to get deals done. It’ll be interesting to see what the scouts and others in the recruitment team can come up with, because as it stands it’s been a good start to the window by Liverpool and City, but United really need three or four quality players to add to the excitement of the new manager coming in. I think if the squad is quite similar to last season the mood’s going to be a bit flat.
“It is concerning. Obviously it’s still early in the summer, but it is concerning that no business has been done yet, and that not much progress seems to be being made on any particular players. You sort of get the feeling that if the recruitment can’t get this transfer window right, then the club’s going to be in real trouble. You don’t want to be leaving things to the last minute.”