Manchester United’s grand transfer plan has backfired and could hurt Pochettino or Ten Hag – Casey Evans


Manchester United had a plan for their departures in the January window to try and help their summer window.

A few weeks later, but now a few months later, the program already seems to be backfiring.

Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Amad have all been sent temporarily to clubs in Spain, England and Scotland respectively to serve different end goals for United.

Martial’s brief was to find his form with the option of returning to the first team this summer or raising interest in a possible departure from Old Trafford.

But in Seville, he struggled to find his feet. So far, he has played four La Liga games, starting with three and being on the bench for the Spanish side’s last game against Rayo Vallecano. During this period, he registered just one high-flying assist.

It looks like Martial is struggling to resolve the issues that have plagued his final months at United. His decision-making is still poor and he lacks the sharpness in his dribbling that made him such an effective force on the wing early in his career at Old Trafford.

It looks unlikely that Sevilla will try to make the deal permanent this summer, and no club will be willing to sign him and accept his huge £250,000-a-week wage.

Van de Beek, meanwhile, has been loaned out with a view to a long-term future at United. The hope was that he would go to a team that had some stability and gave them the ability to chain their attacks together.

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He would probably have played that role had he joined Crystal Palace, who are comfortable in mid-table under Patrick Vieira. Instead, he joined Everton, who are currently nothing short of a shambles.

Frank Lampard has been unable to steady the ship and the club are considering the very real possibility of relegation. Although Van de Beek has been playing quite well, he seems to be cleaning up damage from his teammates around him rather than developing as a player.

And finally we have Amad, who United were most likely hoping would be a rotation option on the right next season. He just needed to improve the physical aspect of his game.

On paper, a loan to Scotland seemed like the perfect move, with Rangers being a club that has enough technical quality to provide Amad with a solid base to build on.

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But with Rangers battling for the title, they decided spending time on Amad’s development was not high on their list of priorities. After a start and a goal in his opener, he has played just one more league game since kick-off, out of four total outings.

He was also a substitute in his four Europa League appearances for the Scottish club.

While the good intentions and ideas were there, the execution of these loans has been flawed and that could leave the next manager, be it Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag or anyone else with a headache based on the team.

These loans appear to be further marks against the wider planning – or lack thereof – in evidence across United’s football operations.


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