It’s never too early to talk about the summer transfer window and how critical it is for the success of Manchester United. Thankfully, this is something that executive vice chairman Ed Woodward sees and admits.
Woodward acknowledged United’s current position was not good enough for a club of their stature via a released statement at a recent fan forum on January 31st. He acknowledged the club must get it right in the summer window and promised more money would be available to strengthen United in the Summer.
“Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window. As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity,” the United executive vice-chairman said.
“We had consistently taken the view that - because January is not an optimal time in terms of availability of players - we would only buy in January if players we had already targeted for the summer became available and we were pleased that this strategy played out with the signing of Bruno Fernandes.
“Bruno Fernandes and the players we brought last summer are evidence that our process is the right one. There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200 million spent since Ole became manager. Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that he will need at least five key players over the summer transfer period to get United to where we all know they should be. The positions Solskjaer is targeting are what United were looking for in January, a striker and midfielders, but also recognizes that bringing in that many players could prove to be difficult.
Although United are still in the Europa League (and the more viable way for Champions League qualification) and the FA Cup, the current state of the club isn’t good enough to attract the kind of players that have been linked to a move to Old Trafford in the summer; Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, James Maddison, of Leicester City, and Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, to name a few.
During the meeting, Woodward’s statement reiterated the fact that United need to improve, writing “as a club and a board, we do recognize that we are not yet where we want to be. It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles. Although progress may not always be smooth, everyone across the club is focused and committed on playing their part in helping achieve those aims.”
"Similarly, there has been extensive work on our recruitment process, with considerable investment in scouting, data and analytics. The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff. Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.”