Football News

Robbie Fowler: Man Utd could write a book on how not to do transfers

By Ben Green

Published: 20:00, 12 June 2022

Liverpool icon Robbie Fowler has issued a scathing appraisal of Manchester United’s transfer policy, suggesting the club have not recruited with a clear approach.

The Red Devils are set for a summer rebuild following the appointment of former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who is expected to oversee a revolving-door window in which plenty of incomings and outgoings will likely transpire.

The likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are all confirmed to be leaving the club upon the expirations of their respective contracts at the end of this month, while there have been plenty of names linked with a summer move to Old Trafford.

However, Fowler believes the club need to abandon their former approach of signing players on a whim, and instead devise a strategic plan to recruit with clarity, giving Ten Hag the tools he needs for his system to flourish.

The Liverpool fan favourite highlighted his former club’s pursuit of Darwin Nunez as a reason why Jurgen Klopp’s side are so succesful in the market — and why Man Utd have often fallen short since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down nearly a decade ago now.

Fowler told The Mirror: “With the record signing of Darwin Nunez looking all but done for Liverpool, what fascinates me is the presence of Manchester United amid the negotiations.

“I can guarantee the Anfield people would have been uneasy with that, as it has the potential to push up not only the price, but the wages too. No agent worth his salt wouldn’t use it to get a bigger contract, let’s be clear.

“Man Utd being there in the background – for me – highlights just why this could so easily be another masterstroke for Liverpool in the transfer market, and it’s a point that is so often overlooked in the desperation to see new faces, new signings, new excitement.”

He continued: “I don’t want to be cruel, but Man Utd could have written a book on how not to do transfers in recent seasons. Signing players just because you don’t want them to go to a rival? Check and double check.

“Cristiano [Ronaldo] has done his job well enough, but signing him because he could have gone to Man City? That just had disaster written all over it. The same with Alexis Sanchez. No, not the same, 10 times worse.

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“That deal highlights everything that has been wrong at Old Trafford. How much did it cost? About 500 grand a week in wages, which I saw somewhere cost them about 20 million quid a goal!

“Much, much worse though, was that it didn’t just break Man Utd’s pay structure, it shattered it. That’s how a goalkeeper [David de Gea] can end up on £400,000 a week, and a midfielder like [Paul] Pogba who couldn’t even get in the team half the time on even more.”