Under Sir Alex Ferguson, few teams could come close to the spending power of Man Utd. The Red Devils had their pick of some of Europe’s most sought-after talents, and that helped them become one of Europe’s most powerful teams. However, it wasn’t all about spending power. Indeed, it was arguably their frugality and their smart approach to transfers that made them so deadly.
Of course, make no mistake, the Red Devils have had more than a few disappointing transfers over the years, but for every Bebe or Anderson, Sir Alex Ferguson was able to unearth a number of crown jewels.
However, since the departure of the manager, Man Utd have been markedly less successful on the transfer front. They’ve spent a lot of money, but you can count the number of successful acquisitions on one or two hands, with players like Alexis Sanchez, Marouane Fellaini and even Romelu Lukaku enduring tough spells so far.
As recently as last summer, Man Utd continued to struggle to spend wisely in the transfer market, with Brazilian midfielder Fred not yet able to have an impact in England since his transfer. Sure, he’s had a few good games, but he’s certainly been below par, and if you consider his £53.1 million fee (as per Transfer Markt), the unsuccessful nature of Man Utd’s deal for him becomes clear.
Naturally, then, this is something that Man Utd need to avoid in the future, and that’s why recent interest in French midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is so baffling. Indeed, as per the Express, the midfielder – who would apparently cost around £50 million – is a target of Man Utd and a few other Premier League teams.
The reality is that, despite Ndombele’s quality, he shares a number of traits with Fred. First of all, he’s very expensive at around £50 million (according to the Express), and so immediately he’ll be expected to come through with a certain level of performance – a level that Fred hasn’t been able to match. He’s also, significantly, inexperienced outside of Ligue 1. The French top flight has its fair share of criticisms that simply don’t need further expansion, but the overriding thing to note here is that it’s a level below the Premier League. There’s no way around that. What’s more, at just 22-years-old, Ndombele himself is underdeveloped and still growing; and the last thing he needs in that instance is further pressure, and make no mistake, if he came in for a huge sum, there would be huge pressure on his shoulders.
Now, of course, Ndombele is a fantastic talent. He’s been brilliant in Ligue 1, and he’s bound to play for a top team one day. But Man Utd have tried to sign unproven talents, and it just hasn’t worked out for them. What they need is someone that has been in England for a while, has done well in the Premier League, and can guarantee good performances. For all of his critics, someone like Nemanja Matic is a good example of this, and whilst certainly, the midfielder hasn’t been perfect all the way through his time in Manchester, he has provided some much-needed steel in the midfield. If Man Utd could find someone a couple of years younger than him, that would be ideal.
Man Utd are entering a pivotal period. They’re improving, and their manager in the summer – whoever that ends up being – will need to rebuild the team. In pursuit of that aim, however, proven talent is the only way to go.
Man Utd fans – would you like to sign Ndombele? Is he proven enough? Let us know below!