Man Utd’s transfer window: Grading the Red Devils’ summer business

Manchester United’s summer transfer window is difficult to weigh in on.

On the one hand it was absolutely ridiculous how the club tried to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, and focused so much time on being ‘confident’, only to fail in their efforts as club officials apparently Didn’t take the asking price. Seriously enough. That failure in turn knocked everything back, turning deadline day into a desperate scramble.

On the other hand, the five players United have signed this summer all look individually like they have the potential to succeed at Old Trafford. Shame most of them didn’t have the benefit of pre-season with their new team-mates and will now have to adapt to the task at hand. The potential knock-on is that results remain poor and the board considers a change of manager.

In terms of going out, some deadwood was moved, not necessarily very effectively. But there’s still a lot left and it’s only going to rot early until January.

Here’s a look at all the big ins and outs for United in the summer of 2020 (excluding academy players who were released or refused new contracts).

Donny van de Beek was Man Utd’s first summer signing / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Signed by: Ajax (£35m + £5m add-ons)

Grade: B+

For what seemed like forever, Donnie van de Beek was United’s only signing of the summer. The club had other priorities, but there was an opportunity to sign the Dutchman and United took him.

Van de Beek has previously been close to joining Real Madrid as a replacement target for Paul Pogba – the two are now in the same team – and Aston Villa are costing half of what Jack Grealish was asking for.

Landing a player with such a promising future for an initial £35m seems an example of exceptionally shrewd and efficient business for United. It all happened very quickly, without the kind of storyline that dominated the pursuit of Harry Maguire last summer and Jadon Sancho this summer.

Van de Beek is still awaiting his first Premier League start but has already shown United fans that he can bring something different to the squad.

Signed by: Porto (£13.6m + £1.8m add-ons)

Grade: B.

United were able to sign Alex Telles for less than £13.6m as he entered the final year of his Porto contract. The move would bolster a position that Solskjaer and the coaching staff have identified as needing attention, and they are likely to have already improved in Luke Shaw.

The reason this signing is not recognized as a major success is because of the timing. The contract situation meant that the deal had to be done all summer, yet it was late in the window that United actually paid attention to Telles.

The 27-year-old Brazilian fills a hole in the squad, giving United something they don’t already have thanks to his excellent attacking output and was signed relatively cheaply. If it was done early on, perfect, but waiting until the end made it frustrating.

Signed by: Atalanta (£19m + £18.5m add-ons)

Grade: TO-

United paid a huge price for Imad Diallo when you consider he has only played three first-team games in his career to date. The deal, heavily stacked with add-ons, as in 2015 when Anthony Martial joined as a 19-year-old from Monaco, could be closer to £40m in total.

At least Martial had a full season of first-team games under his belt. But Atalanta is recognized as the best academy in Italy and Diallo was the jewel of that academy. Moreover, United were believed to be watching him since he was at Under-15 level.

The 18-year-old will not actually arrive until January as he could not secure the necessary work permit in time to move before the summer deadline. Given his age, that doesn’t matter much, although he is expected to go straight into the first-team squad.

It’s a risk, but a calculated one.

Signed by: Unattached (Free)

Grade: C.

United could have signed Edinson Cavani any time after the end of June if he was a serious target as that is when he became a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain. Yet for the second transfer window in a row, the club were scrambling for an emergency striker on deadline day.

With it being a free transfer, the budget constraints weren’t as tight as with other deals that were delayed while the Sancho saga was still up in the air.

On the pitch, there’s every chance Cavani will be an asset to United – perhaps not as much as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but almost certainly better than Radamel Falcao. Yet it is disappointing that he remained fully available for three months before the club made the move. Now, he has missed pre-season and could take weeks to catch up fitness-wise.

Signed by: Penarol (£7.8m)

Grade: TO

Along with Diallo, Uruguayan talent Facundo Pelestri was the other teenage winger United brought in on deadline day. Unlike Diallo, however, he arrives straight away and becomes part of the first-team squad immediately.

Given his age, it would be unreasonable to expect Pelestri to make an immediate impact, or to play more than occasionally, but he is a good investment for the future. A fee of just under £8m is relatively modest for a club with United’s wealth and has been praised by former Penarol coach and former United cult favorite Diego Forlan, as well as Argentina legend Juan Roman Riquelme.

The nature of the deadline for the arrival of the Pelestri is less important because it will not be regular at first.

Alexis Sanchez joined Inter on a free transfer / Socrates Images / Getty Images

has been transferred: Inter (Free)

Grade: C+

United managed to permanently strain Alexis Sanchez in August, ultimately the biggest blunder in the club’s recent history – there are plenty to choose from.

That was good because it gets rid of his huge wages, which United were still contributing last season when he was on loan at Inter.

What was worse about the situation is that it is believed to have cost the club between £5m and £10m to cancel his contract through salary. A transfer fee would have been ideal, but Inter were never going to be able to offer similar wages and Sanchez was within his rights to ensure that a moving club would not see him lose out financially.

United benefited from this, but still got the raw end of the deal.

Tahith Chong catches games for Werder Bremen / Ronny Hartmann / Getty Images.

has been transferred: Werder Bremen (loan)

Grade: B+

United agreed a new deal with Tahit Chong last season amid rumored interest from Juventus and Inter – the same could not be said for his former youth team-mate Angel Gomes.

The Dutch winger would never have gotten the game time he so desperately needed had he stayed at Old Trafford and a loan move to Werder Bremen would have benefited all parties. Chong has already played four times for Bremen, while he will be lucky to make the United bench.

Even if Chong doesn’t have a long-term future at United, this loan could help sell him.

James Garner has started Watford’s last three games / Naomi Baker / Getty Images

has been transferred: Watford (loan)

Grade: TO

James Garner was in a similar situation to Chong in that he was on the fringes of United’s first team but needed regular games to help his development.

Garner, who is well-liked by Solskjaer and has been compared to Michael Carrick, has started all three of Watford’s games since making his debut as a substitute.

Lazio have a £27m option on Andreas Pereira/Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

has been transferred: Lazio (loan)

Grade: B-

With the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January, it was clear that Andreas Pereira’s time at United was up. But the club struggled to find buyers in a restricted market and had to settle for a loan move to Lazio, which includes an option to buy next summer.

Pereira could well be a hit for the Rome club, but that option is set at £27m and offers no guarantee that United won’t be stuck with him again next summer if he doesn’t impress. Is.

On the other hand, no fixed price means United could potentially fetch more if they have a stellar season and the market recovers properly by 2021. This is very unlikely.

It’s not the best deal, but United still got rid of a player they didn’t want, at least temporarily, which is more than can be said for some of those who stayed.

Diego Dalot gets out of favor before joining AC Milan / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

has been transferred: AC Milan (Loan)

Grade: B-

Diego Delot’s fall has been troubling when the Portuguese’s future looked so bright when he first arrived at United. Even just 18 months ago he was on the pitch and played a decisive role in their return to the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain.

But then he fell completely out of favor last season, to the point where Timothy Fosu-Mensah was chosen ahead of him for his first United appearance in three years.

It would have been better to sell permanently, but United’s negotiators could not.

Chris Smalling has finally joined Roma in an £18.1m deal/MB Media/Getty Images

has been transferred: Rome (£13.6m + £4.5m add-ons)

Grade: B+

United eventually got a good deal for Smalling, who Roma sold for a potential £18.1m on top of the £3m loan fee they paid last summer. The issue, like many other sets of negotiations this summer, was once again timing — the move was not confirmed by the deadline.

United wanted to sell, move to Smalling and buy Roma. So why on earth did it take months for this to finally happen?

Manchester United’s Overall Transfer Grade – Summer 2020: D

All five United signings this summer could be described as positive and rewarding. What ruined the transfer window was the manner in which it happened, the embarrassing negotiations, the ones that got away and the disappointment of late.

Regardless of the individual deals that were made, there is no redemption.

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