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Opinion: Manchester United at risk of undoing a year’s worth of work

The sense of optimism around and connection with their club is perhaps higher now than it has been at any point since Sir Alex Ferguson exited stage left seven years ago. Ole Solskjaer has led the club to a third placed finish (the second highest post Sir Alex) into the semi-finals of every cup competition entered and his signings have all proven to be top quality.

Meanwhile as I wrote a few weeks back, the club has been at the forefront of the response to the Coronavirus crisis which has helped rebuild many bridges and restore pride amongst supporters. But this summer that could be all undone if the club isn’t seen to continue that trend.

The boss has held up his share of the bargain and taken the club back into the Champions League, at times with one hand tied behind his back. A run of one defeat in 23 inspired by our new Portugese hero propelled United up the table to ensure he met his remit. Now it is time for the board to do the same.

Although we as fans are excited by the prospect of seeing Jadon Sancho wearing red it is believed that the club has put all other business on hold to get this done. Whilst that may seem fine, the longer this saga drags on, the longer Ole goes without reinforcements and without time to bed them in. As Sir Alex was fond of saying, there’s no such thing as standing still in football, you either go forwards or backwards. Failure to strengthen the squad would undoubtedly see us go backwards.

So although we are excited by the prospect of Jadon Sancho, if this saga turns into another Fabregas or Perisic episode which results in other targets not being secured (a central midfielder and a left-footed centre-half primarily) then perhaps the tide may turn, not against the boss, but against those above him who may be seen to be not holding up their side of the deal.

It simply begs the question, how long should the Sancho pursuit last before we move to other targets and other positions? With all of the club’s main rivals having signed at least one player this is a crucial summer for those in charge at United in more ways than one. How things look at the end of it could decide if that optimism and goodwill is strengthened or weakened.

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