Ed Woodward has been at the forefront of controversy surrounding Manchester United’s lacklustre transfer window and substandard start to the season.
Woodward’s involvement with United began when he advised the Glazer family on their takeover of Manchester United and a role in the club ensued as Woodward joined in a financial planning role that later spanned to commercial and media operations at the Red Devils.
It was the year 2012 whereby Woodward would transition to his role of executive vice-chairman at United which has lauded him numerous plaudits and critics along the way.
Prior to the summer transfer window just gone, Woodward was generally looked upon in high-esteem by United fans alike as his dealings during his time at the club have provided bosses during his tenure; David Moyes; Louis Van Gaal; and Jose Mourinho with enough firepower to compete with the elite. Woodward had been fundamental in the high-profile additions of Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku. That’s alongside snatching Alexis Sanchez and Fred from under the noses of arch-rivals Manchester City.
However, it was this summer’s dealings, or lack of them, that have caused him to go down in United fans’ estimations. Despite Jose Mourinho having five first-team centre-backs; Marcos Rojo; Phil Jones; Chris Smalling; Eric Bailly; and Victor Lindelof, with Mourinho previously buying the latter two, he did feel he needed a defender who is complete, that has all of the required attributes to help sure up the United backline.
Numerous names were flirted with such as Harry Maguire, unfortunately for United, he was not for sale by any means. Jerome Boateng was also linked but a deal never materialised. Toby Alderweireld seems to be the one that got away in United fans’ eyes, well, for now anyway. It seemed like there could be a deal done on deadline day, but it didn’t come to fruition. However, the Belgian is available on a free transfer in the summer, so Spurs should be braced for another bid in January as United look to prise away Alderweireld for a minimal fee.
United fans displayed their frustration during the recent fixture against Burnley with a banner that was flown over Turf Moor reading ‘ED OUT- LUHG’ to show their affection for the club and not for the Glazer family. Woodward could win over the United contingent that are unhappy with his actions with some January business, but only time will tell.