After a month of nervous waiting on the sideline for Manchester United fans, the club’s first summer signing was confirmed with the purchase of Daniel James from Swansea City. This exciting 21-year-old Welsh winger certainly is a positive indication that attitudes are changing when it comes to purchases in the transfer market.
Ever since the notorious Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive, David Gill, left their positions in 2013, the club has developed an ill repute for signing reactionary players, who notably are big in name but have failed to write themselves in the Old Trafford records. Players such as Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and co had, on paper, looked to be investments that were made in the hope that they would send United back to the top of the tree. The rest, as they say, is history; history for the wrong reasons.
Indeed, Ed Woodward, current vice-executive chairman, can argue that some of his purchases have been wise. Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and arguably, Paul Pogba, have all shown glimpses of class. However, glimpses simply isn’t good enough at a club like Manchester United.
There is no doubt though that these players will improve with better team members around them, Paul Pogba’s performances in a France shirt being a key indicator for this. Last season’s squad had players that simply weren’t good enough to fight for the badge, a crest that is rooted with deep philosophy and antiquity.
Daniel James signing is a massive sign that the purchasing strategy is changing at United. He himself said that “it is a challenge I am really looking forward to”, as per ManUtd.com, portraying his desire to work and dedicate his time to the club. It is this hunger that has been invisible at United for years.
The general consensus is that Solskjaer and his team are targeting young and driven players who have the potential to take their game to the next level of development. With this in mind, fans shouldn’t worry about rumours linking United to names such as Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann, who are world class on their day, but at the wrong end of their career.
The club understand how far away we are from conquering Europe’s elite teams and in order to catch up, signings with excessive talent are also needed to add energy and desire to the squad. It has been widely reported that as many as five players will come in, with a commanding centre-back, two holding midfielders, a right sided winger and a right back the positions identified for the start of the rebuilding process.
Solskjaer will know what he needs to do to get United back to the top. The signing of Daniel James has signified a change in the teams’ recruitment policy and hopefully is the catalyst of what will be a busy few weeks for the club.