For fans of Manchester United there is no escaping the fact that last season was hugely disappointing with the team finishing in sixth place. Even worse news was the fact that we finished 35 points behind City and 34 points behind arch-rivals Liverpool.
Now, it’s time to move on from the disaster of last season. But how likely is it that things will be more positive this time out and what effect will Erik ten Hag’s forays into the transfer market have on United’s title chances?
Speaking to a football betting expert at justgamblers.com, it seems there is reason for some positivity. She said,
“You cannot underestimate the impact of Erik ten Hag. He will bring the passion and energy that were powerful at Ajax with him to United.”
However, she went on to add,
“Even so, United’s dealings in the transfer market need to be strong if there is any real hope of improving on last year’s position. This is especially the case given that clubs like City and Liverpool are refreshing with top quality players.”
So, what is happening in the transfer market for United and will these dealings do enough to allow advancement to happen?
The transfer story so far
For many fans, the biggest positive news this summer has been the departure of Paul Pogba for Juventus. He has been a divisive and controversial figure at the club, and it was definitely time for him to move on when his contract came to an end.
There have also been moves to bring fresh players into the United squad. Left-back Tyrell Malacia arrived from Feyenoord for £12.9 million and the club has also confirmed the arrival of Christian Eriksen from Brentford on a free transfer.
Centre back Lisandro Martinez has signed a deal thought to be worth £120,000 a week. The transfer fee payable to Ajax for the player is £45 million. Finally, the club’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong continues although his arrival from Barcelona is far from certain.
In addition to this action, there remains a question mark over the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Ronaldo situation
When Cristiano Ronaldo arrived back at United there was a huge amount of excitement. However, it’s fair to say that his return has not been as triumphant as he might have expected. Right now, the Portuguese superstar is said to be looking for a way out even though he finished last season as United’s top scorer.
The latest instalment in the Ronaldo saga is a rumoured super-lucrative offer from Saudi Aria which the five times Ballon d’Or is not interested in.
So, despite Ronaldo’s wish to leave, it seems increasingly likely that he will remain at United for the 2022-23 season.
So, what are United’s chances this season?
Given the potential effect of arrivals and departures, do United have a realistic chance of achieving Premier League success this season? The short answer is “no” if you are talking about competing to be champions. You only need to look at United’s current odds to win the Premier League of 33-1 to see this is the case.
Even ex-United players like Roy Keane believe you cannot really look further than Manchester City and Liverpool to be champions this time out. However, United should certainly be aiming for a Champions League place and to build for a future with Premier League wins in it.
Given the positive vibe from Erik ten Hag and the arrival of fresh faces this is certainly a possibility. It’s especially likely to happen if Ronaldo is freshly inspired by the changes and settles to remaining at the club that has meant so much to him over the years.