Under the tenure of José Mourinho, we heard him mention time and again regarding recruitment, if we lose one we bring one in, when speaking about potential team departures. It made sense, you lose a centre-half you buy a centre-half, lose a striker, buy a striker. Now, don’t get me wrong, José was far from successful won’t his transfer dealings, but that ethos was very much correct.
Fast forward, and we are now going through this magical rebuild, where we are clearing out the “deadwood” and getting the side back to a hungry squad of players wanting to play for United.
Fantastic idea, if done correctly, which I don’t believe has been handled as it should.
Let’s take a look at the glaring issue in midfield.
We have started the season drastically light of quality options for midfield, across the whole middle from wing to wing. A misfiring Paul Pogba, a hapless Jesse Lingard, the ageing Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, a £52m signing in Fred who doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the level we need. The only shining light is a young lad from the academy, who if the club were performing as they should be, Scott McTominay would be a League Cup, FA Cup, injury cover player for the interim as he develops as a footballer, not the lynch pin he finds himself as in midfield.
Rewind to the Marouane Felaini departure. Certainly not flavour of the month with the fans, or at least certain sections, and it wasn’t the worst day when he departed, he didn’t suit the club, he wasn’t as fashionable a player as we required or were used to, and under quite a cloud of silence, he departed for pastures new.
It wasn’t the end of the world, far from it, it’s just another transfer at the time on the road to overhaul and we had still got players able to keep us afloat.
But then we have the interesting one.
We left a player go, over wage demands, who although certain corners of the fan base never quite believed he was top level, you’d be more than happy to have him hustling around our midfield right now. Ander Herrera was allowed depart the club. Common knowledge for quite some time the transfer was going to happen, which on the flip side gave the club quite some time to find a replacement.
Two out, none in.
It highlights how poorly this rebuild has been handled so far, leaving us with a paper thin midfield middle, having ample time to fix this.
It highlights just how badly odd we are, when you consider that the one player we are crying out for is a player we didn’t deem good enough and now lament the allowance to see him join the Parisians as we languish mid table, desperately in need of just what he brought to the side. Anger, shithousery, effort, mixed with a bit of ability to cause other sides trouble and to close out his marker.
If this rebuild is to work, while not sending us into the doldrums as we attempt it, the lesson needs to be learned from this or we will continually have an unbalanced, lack of strength amongst the squad while we try to bring ourselves back to the top.
One out, one in.