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Manchester United are wise to remain patient regarding transfer plans

While the Premier League has already surpassed record January spending levels Manchester United appear to be taking a more patient approach.

old trafford man utd

While the Premier League has already surpassed record January spending levels, with Chelsea the biggest spending club during the winter transfer period, Manchester United appear to be taking a more patient approach. But will there be any major arrivals at Old Trafford, before the window of opportunity closes at the end of this month?

There is certainly enough speculation going around, given the Red Devils have been linked with quite a wide variety of potential targets, adding further interest amongst punters who wager on transfer moves. Such markets are now highly popular at online bookmakers, however, it is always advisable to examine recommendations for the best football betting sites, especially for those based in the Middle East and North Africa.

Saudi Arabia recently welcomed United outcast Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portuguese superstar torched his legacy at the English club, which prompted the swift move for a suitable replacement. This prompted the arrival of Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley, given the towering Dutch striker ticked all the right boxes for Erik ten Hag, bringing aerial presence and physical power to the attacking line.

Addressing the needs of the team

As the move for Weghorst shows, focus thus far through January has been about serving the most pressing needs, and an authentic number nine was certainly a priority once Ronaldo left. Contrary to gossip columns insisting that Liverpool beat Manchester United to the punch, there was no real need to sign Cody Gakpo, mainly due to already several players with similar attacking profiles. Ten Hag wanted a big man up top, and that’s what he got.

There was also the need to bring in a reliable backup goalkeeper, after Dean Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on loan in the summer and Lee Grant retired. This brought about the arrival of Jack Butland from Crystal Palace, signed until the end of the current season, when his contract with the London club also expires. Providing he does well enough, this could also lead to a permanent deal being offered to the 29-year-old.

Now those two areas of the team have been addressed, the technical and scouting staff are undoubtedly looking at further improvements, as Ten Hag carefully weighs up the best options available. One concern had been the inconsistent form and fitness of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with talk of him possibly being offloaded in January, and that could remain a possibility. Josip Juranovic was considered an option, before he switched from Celtic to Union Berlin.

According to the Daily Mirror, teenage right-back Malo Gusto at Lyon is another potential target, should Ten Hag decide to replace Wan-Bissaka before the transfer window closes. Amusingly, the Frenchman has quite an unfortunate name, given that Malo Gusto literally means “bad taste” when translated from Spanish. Perhaps an ironic statement of how much faith we put in transfer gossip, although the 19-year-old is actually a very good prospect.

Focus on long-term objectives

Patience could ultimately prove to be a virtue for Manchester United, having resisted the urge to spend big in the January window, regardless of the frenzied spending elsewhere. This is partially due to self-imposed budgetary limits, as the club takes an increasingly more sensible approach to signings, rather than the haphazard and over-inflated spending of the last decade. Erik ten Hag brings an entirely different approach, placing suitability far above profile.

Indeed, waiting until the summer also makes economic sense, given that January transfer fees are often overinflated, with selling clubs only willing to negotiate at the highest prices. While certain signings can provide fresh impetus, there is always an element of risk involved, which means that United are wise to seek the best value they can. In the meantime, this also grants time for plenty of serious scouting, fully analysing what each potential target can offer.

Supporters of the Red Devils can expect a busy period at the end of the 2022-23 season, once the summer window is open for business. Perhaps then we can ready ourselves for the possibility of signing Harry Kane from Spurs, or maybe Victor Osimhen if Napoli can be coaxed into selling. As the club works towards future moves, fans must also remain patient and trust in the project, which Ten Hag is working to build on strong foundations.

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