Manchester United are being lamented in the press for their lax summer spending in the transfer market, but a last-gasp bid shows they had money to spend.
Maroaune Fellaini’s signing from Everton has largely been treated with disdain by Manchester United fans, who were crying out for a talented creative player to upskill their midfield.
With attempts to prize Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara to Old Trafford failing, the Premier League champions also decided against meeting Athletic Bilbao artisan Ander Herrera’s release clause at the death too.
However, Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has revealed that a last-minute transfer bid was launched for his services, which was promptly refused by the Santiago Bernabeu outfit. The bid is widely being reported as being in the €40 million region.
Firstly, this offer is €4 million more than would have been needed to sign Herrera. Secondly, with Arsenal signing Mesut Ozil in a stunning last-day deal for a handful of million more than what was offered for Khedira, why did United not go head-to-head with Arsenal for the German international playmaker?
United fans have hit out at the club’s inability to purchase a playmaker and will have been irked by Arsenal snatching one of the best in that position in the world on deadline day.
Ozil plays in a number ten role behind a main striker and as such is seemingly more suited to Arsenal than United, with the Old Trafford side already possessing Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa for that role.
However, with David Moyes playing three in the centre of midfield there would have been scope to fit Ozil into the team. The removal of Ryan Giggs, leaving Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick in the boiler room, could have been completed with the inclusion of Ozil as a central playmaker with a licence to get forward and link-in with Rooney and Welbeck, or both.
Ozil’s supreme creative skills would have put an end to the constant concern that United will struggle to break defences down this term, which has been proven by goalless displays against Chelsea and Liverpool in the last two outings. Signing the German would have taken some of the reliance away from the returning Rooney and acted as a much-needed link between midfield and the forward line.
Khedira would have been a more fitting player for what United were after – a central midfielder with energy that can get box-to-box and add creativity. However, although Ozil plays a slightly higher line than his international compatriot, the infusion of craft and guile that he would have brought to United would have finally ended the search for a replacement for Paul Scholes – it would have just meant that Moyes would have had to tweak his tactics slightly to accommodate the new man.
While Arsenal seem overstocked on creative players now with the addition of Ozil, United are still crying out for someone to orchestrate their attacking game. The fact that they were willing to spend the finances to bring someone like Ozil to Old Trafford, but then opted not to, will be viewed in a really negative light – especially if Moyes’ side continue to lack creativity in upcoming fixtures.
image: © Jan S0L0