Manchester United can’t moan too much about how their transfer window went. The Red Devils spent £75m on new players in the summer, bringing in the likes of Donny van de Beek, Amad Diallo, Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri, as well as former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.
In fact, Man United are the third highest spenders in the Premier League over the past decade, which is fuelled by big fees for players like Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku in recent years. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side didn’t sign Jadon Sancho, who was their top target all summer, as Borussia Dortmund refused to budge over his £108m transfer fee.
Whilst Solskjaer insisted Sancho was his number one target, United chief Ed Woodward was unwilling to cough up such a colossal amount, and the 13-cap England international will stay at the Signal Iduna Park for the rest of the season. Although the Red Devils are likely to return for him in 2021, the lack of money indicates that it may not happen.
In fact, it’s fair to say that the fact that Woodward couldn’t get a deal done could come back to haunt United in the near future, with both Barcelona and Real Madrid waiting in the wings, but one Old Trafford academy graduate will be counting his lucky stars. Mason Greenwood may be the biggest winner from the Sancho transfer fiasco.
Greenwood, who is naturally a centre-forward, has been asked to play out of position on the right flank while Solskjaer remains desperately short of wide options. Last season, the 18-year-old played 31 games in the Premier League, scored ten goals and supplied one assist, whilst he averaged 1.3 shots per game, via WhoScored. If Sancho had come in in the summer, then it may have limited his playing time on the pitch this season.
However, with the out-of-favour Daniel James and Jesse Lingard his only real competition on the right wing, Greenwood has the chance to nail down a spot in the starting XI, especially considering the fact that Amad Diallo won’t join the club until January.
After he made an “electric” start to last season for the United U18s, The Manchester Evening News correspondent Joe Bray noted “his performances have certainly caught the eye.”
Whilst Dan James’ stock has dramatically fallen after such a promising start, Greenwood must make the most of this opportunity, as the Sancho deal falling through means it is his time to shine, and he has to take it if he wants to continue to feature regularly in the future.
AND in other news, Man Utd can plan for life without Paul Pogba by starting Donny van de Beek…