The transfer deadline was on 5th October, and clubs rushed to finalize deals to add to their ranks for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. WIth COVID-19 disrupting last season, the transfer market had opened late, giving clubs enough time to recalculate the money in their coffers and reset targets. One such club was Manchester United.
After faltering at the start of the campaign, United finished strongly in 2019-20 to secure a third-place finish. However, they were still 25 points off second-place Manchester City and a whopping 33 points off champions Liverpool. For a club of United's stature, this was unacceptable. Fans knew they had to be active in the transfer market and bring in some game-changers.
Manchester United looked desperate on Deadline Day
Manchester United were active and brought in several new players this summer. However, much of the action took place in the last few days of the transfer window.
The majority of the window was spent chasing Jadon Sancho. The deal never looked like happening, since Borussia Dortmund were not interested in selling their prized asset for cheap. United kept on it though, even after Sancho signed a new contract with the German side. In the end, the Red Devils had their tails between their legs and looked elsewhere.
First, it was Ousmane Dembele, who they wanted on loan. Barcelona themselves were in a tight position money-wise though, and were only interested in selling. It's a good thing that the transfer market ended or Manchester United would have dragged this transfer to Broadway as well.
But Manchester United were not done yet. For some reason, they seemed desperate to sign a winger, despite having Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood at the club. They also added Edison Cavani to their ranks, who despite entering his twilight years, could still be productive upfront.
So, either out of desperation or in a move to please fans and critics, they bought Amad Diallo. The 18-year-old winger has made just three substitute appearances for Atalanta, playing 25 minutes in total. The unbelievable part is the fact that Manchester United parted with $48 million.
That is right, $48m for three substitute appearances and a goal. A risk, to say the least.
Manchester United haven't learnt their lesson
Amad Diallo could be a special talent and, admittedly, he looks like he will become one. But there have been many cases of teenagers failing to reach their potential after a huge transfer.
Case and point: Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman moved to Old Trafford in 2015 after the Premier League outfit paid £58 million, a then-world-record fee for a teenager. Five years on, we are still waiting for Martial to reach his true potential.
It seems like Manchester United haven't learned their lesson. They have had a series of expensive acquisitions that have failed to live up to their billing in the last few seasons. They overpaid last season for Harry Maguire in their desperation to start a Van Dijk-like renaissance at the back, yet have conceded 11 goals in their first three league games this term.
Manchester United have once again, just like recent years, overpaid for a player. While thinking about the future is a great thing, the current Old Trafford setting is not ideal for the progression of a young player's growth.
Managers have not lasted more than two years since Sir Alex Ferguson left and the money spent off the field has not yielded many positive results. The pressure is enormous when playing for the Red Devils and with an ever-demanding fan base, Diallo could be in for a tough time.
The Ivorian starlet has time to prepare, since he will only be joining in January. Hopefully, by then, he will have a few more matches under his belt to show the world why Man Utd paid $48 million for his services.Published 06 Oct 2020, 17:46 IST