Don’t tell me there’s no value in the transfer market!


As yet another summer transfer window nears it’s end with Manchester United fans still furious at the lack of squad upgrade and investment, plenty seem to have found themselves a “perfect excuse”.

Seasons went by while Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t improve our squad despite key figures such as Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra ageing with no sufficient back-up to take over already at the club. Ferguson used the blame this on “a lack of value in today’s market.”

Since Ferguson’s departure, David Moyes and now Louis van Gaal have struggled to strengthen the side sufficiently despite a host of world class talent swapping clubs all over Europe. So why do fans and club officials continue to carry the line that there is no value in the market?

This summer alone we have seen some excellent deals take place. Cesc Fabregas, who Manchester United made a £40M bid for last summer, signed for rivals Chelsea in a £30M move (explain that one?). Ivan Rakitic replaced him at Barcelona from Sevilla, signing for £15M. Defensive midfielder Fernando left Porto and signed for Manchester City for just £12M while World Cup winner Toni Kroos signed for Real Madrid for £20M. Every single one of those players would have given Manchester United something they desperately need – A top class central midfielder.


Going further back (and into other positions), players such as Yaya Toure, Raphael Varane, Thiago, Luka Modric (twice), Arturo Vidal (yes, him!), Nemanja Matic have all gone for nominal fees while Manchester United have persisted with a mediocre midfield. To sum up United’s mediocrity in recent transfer windows, lets remember that Sir Alex Ferguson replaced Cristiano Ronaldo with Antonio Valencia and Carlos Tevez with free agent Michael Owen. This in the same summer that players such as Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kaka all left their clubs and went to La Liga.

Last summer Manchester United went about their transfers in an amateur fashion, publicly chasing Leighton Baines and Cesc Fabregas. David Moyes claimed in an interview on Sunday that the club tried to sign Fabregas, Bale and Ronaldo last summer. The fact the club ended up paying £4M more than his release clause makes the fact Marouane Fellaini was the club’s only signing of the summer even more embarassing. The club has slumped from champions the seventh.

Saturday lunchtimes loss to Swansea was a surprise to many, but it probably shouldn’t have been. While United have signed Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, they’ve lost over 2000 games on experience in defence. The club have known since January that Nemanja Vidic was leaving, while it was clear that Rio Ferdinand wouldn’t be kept at the club for a while before his contract finally expired in June. Patrice Evra wanted out for a while, while Ryan Giggs simply couldn’t play on forever. 4 players out, plus the sales of Alex Buttner and Bebe, yet just two new additions to the side.

Ed Woodward has constantly spoken about the club’s “power” in the transfer market, while telling fans to “watch this space”. He even told fans that the club wouldn’t hesitate to break records if it meant bringing the right player to the club. Yet the club continue to be beaten to targets by rival clubs and have to settle for mediocrity for inflated fees, Marcos Rojo the latest example.

There is value in the market. The club just isn’t trying to sign the right players. Tottenham have reportedly put Sandro, Moussa Dembele and Etienne Capoue up for sale this summer to raise funds. All three would add some quality to our midfield and all for relatively low fees. Yet the club aren’t even mentioned alongside others who are considering moves. We need world class talent, there is no doubt about that. While it’s great to see the club linked with players like Angel Di Maria and Arturo Vidal, the club have vehemently denied interest in them until now. Mehdi Benatia has been strongly linked with a move this week, but the club insist he hasn’t even been in the thoughts process of their centre back search. It begs the question why.

With two weeks left in this transfer window, it’s time Ed Woodward pulled his finger out and started backing up all his talk. The fans are getting restless and Van Gaal is a man of principle. With all these seemingly broken promises happening at the club, would anyone be surprised to see him walk away? It would do him no harm, while leaving “the biggest club in the world” with a poisoned chalice for a managerial hotseat. It’s time to get it right. You get the value in the market by moving early, which for a second year in a row now we’ve completely failed to do. But as they, it’s better late than never.