Manchester United reacted to Sunday’s humiliating 6-1 defeat against Tottenham by embarking on a late transfer window trolley dash, but senior first team players are said to feel underwhelmed by the raft of new arrivals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finished last season having secured Champions League qualification on the back of an impressive run of form, inspired by the attacking play of academy graduates Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, as well as January recruit Bruno Fernandes, while Anthony Martial also enjoyed his most prolific campaign for the club, having asserted himself as United’s main striker.
The optimism and momentum generated during June and July has, however, been punctured by a disappointing start to the new season and another chaotic transfer window, overseen by United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Solskjaer’s side were well beaten at Old Trafford by Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season and were fortunate to edge a five-goal thriller at Brighton a fortnight ago in a match which saw their opponents hit the woodwork on a staggering five occasions.
After Jose Mourinho enjoyed a triumphant and highly satisfying return to Manchester, United reacted by signing four players on deadline day with left-back Alex Telles and experienced striker Edinson Cavani the headline purchases.
Amad Diallo will join in January from Atalanta, meanwhile, and although teenager Facundo Pellistri has been included in Solskjaer’s Champions League squad, the teenage Uruguayan is seen as one for the future.
Donny van de Beek arrived earlier in the summer from Ajax and although the Netherlands international has displayed some encouraging signs, he is being gently eased into the first team by his new manager.
Despite the new arrivals, United’s squad, according to The Athletic, feel Solskjaer has been left without the tools he requires to bridge the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.
Sources claim the England international’s summer arrest and the subsequent fallout from that episode is still weighing heavily on his mind, but more pertinent is the club’s failure to sign a new left-sided centre-half.
Indeed, Solskjaer ultimately missed out on his three priority targets, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who was deemed too expensive by the United hierarchy given his £108million valuation.