When it became clear that Christian Eriksen would miss the majority of Manchester United’s remaining games this season, the club had to act quickly to secure a replacement.
The extent of Eriksen’s injury, which he sustained in the FA Cup tie with Reading, was only revealed on transfer deadline day but it didn’t take long before United had agreed a deal to sign Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich.
Sabitzer joined the German giants in 2021 but has struggled to nail down a starting place, with stalwarts Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka remaining the preferred duo through the middle.
Speaking after the transfer was finalised, Bayern star Thomas Muller has revealed how the rest of the squad reacted when the news of Sabitzer’s departure came, admitting they were surprised.
“The team was surprised. It happened very quickly,” Muller told Kicker, via the Daily Mail.
“I’m happy for Sabi that he’s moving to Manchester United, getting a chance to play there. Manchester is a huge name.”
Muller was also quick to point out that Sabitzer’s departure is only on a short-term basis, warning United not to get too attached as the Austrian international will be back in Munich by the end of the season.
“He’ll be back in the summer. The chapter isn’t over yet,” Muller said.
Muller is not the only person to be surprised by United’s quick thinking in this case and it’s fair to assume that Ten Hag was behind much of it.
Since he took over, he has had almost full control of the club’s transfers and Sabitzer was, most likely, handpicked by the Dutchman as he decided on the ideal replacement for Eriksen.
It remains to be seen if Sabitzer is involved in this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace and if he is, he will become the first Austrian player to feature for the club.