It appears United might fail to land Borussia Dortmund England international Jadon Sancho, and this would probably be once again a failure by United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward.
Woodward is repeating the same mistake he made with the signings of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, Harry Maguire from Leicester City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. Woodward ended up paying the original fees requested from the selling clubs, after wasting a lot of time, which they might have ended up getting other targets or looking at opportunities elsewhere.
The Executive vice chairman’s negotiation skills have to be questioned and his level of effectiveness. Looking at past transfers and the moves made in the market, United should be wary of Woodward’s competence.
One major ignorant transfer failure was Woodward’s pursuit of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur. Bale had reportedly opted to go to Real Madrid and Woodward ignored that, offering Daniel Levy an almost irresistible deal: A transfer record for Bale, plus taking striker Emmanuel Adebayor and his wages off his hand.
While going after Juan Mata in Chelsea, during David Moyes’ season, United had to employ an intermediary to handle negotiations, over fears of Woodward giving in to Chelsea’s demands at the time and selling them Wayne Rooney.
Other times, Van Gaal was led to believe Sergio Ramos was on his way, only to be reduced to Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. While Mourinho was deceived into believed Toby Alderweireld was on his way from Tottenham.
These errors from Woodward has highlighted United’s failure in the transfer market and the blame could be pinpointed to Ed Woodward. United would like to pull off big name signings but have fallen short, which could also be attributed to the clubs failure to appoint a director of football. If United would like to return to the top, then Woodward would have to avoid making the same mistakes and take responsibility.
By Muyiwa Aguda
See also: Manchester United’s Resurgence