Ever since the departure of the iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013, Northwestern Heavyweights Manchester United have not been able to reach the same heights as they have before.
Despite the club splashing the cash season after season since the departure of the legendary Scotsman, gone were the trophy-laden seasons that have been a Sir Alex staple. Money, it appears, is failing to fill the gigantic void Ferguson had left at Old Trafford.
And yet, United are once again tempted to pull off a massive transfer in order to bring back the good old days.
According to Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, his former club must jump at the opportunity to sign Arsenal’s superstar winger Alexis Sanchez once the transfer market re-opens in the summer, saying, “Sanchez is a brilliant player. His work rate, the effect he has on his team-mates, a winner. He just looks how South Americans are, tough aren’t they.”
A former winger for United himself, Giggs has maintained Sanchez would be a great buy for the 20-time English top-flight champions, insisting, “He had won everywhere he’d gone. Not only the effect on the pitch but off the pitch as well. You can just feel that Sanchez would give his team-mates a lift as well.”
But is Sanchez really a perfect fit at United, especially at this moment? The answer to that question may well be an empathic “no”.
Ever since the departure of Sir Alex back in 2013, United’s net transfer spending per season has increased more than triple in the past five years. From an average net transfer spending of £35.4million in Sir Alex’s final three seasons, with his most expensive signing being Robin van Persie at £26milliion, the Red Devils have splashed the cash in the seasons that followed.
In David Moyes’ one and only season in charge at United, his net spend was nearly double than the previous year, at roughly £64million, while splashing the cash on Juan Mata, who cost the club a hefty £38million. That year, United only managed to finish seventh in the league.
In an effort to find instant success, Cash would continue to burst out of the Old Trafford coffers. Louis van Gaal was brought in to stop the rot Moyes spread, but managed to only dampen United’s decline. Despite incurring a net spend of £85million a season, and shelling out a massive £64million fee for Angel Di Maria, Van Gaal only managed to reach fourth place – though he did manage to win a singular FA Cup title, which may be seen as a relatively small reward for such a huge investment.
History was dealing United a harsh lesson: money does not buy success. And yet, the 13-time Premier League winners would go on another spending spree, this time under Jose Mourinho. This season alone, the Portuguese has already sanctioned a net spend of £117million; the club’s acquisition of Paul Pogba, which cost the club an eye-popping near £90million, taking the bulk of those expenses.
And yet, despite all that money thrown away, United currently sit in sixth, with no shot of the top four in sight. Winning the Europa League, should it happen, must not be seen as good reason for spending that insane amount of cash.
Enter Ryan Giggs, who clearly advocates United spending even more than they already have. Alexis Sanchez may well have his contract set to end in 2018, but Arsenal would be fools to sell him for cheap.
The Chilean winger is yet to sign a new deal with the Gunners, true, but the impact his situation would deal on his market value would be minimal. As it stands, many are rating Sanchez to be worth close to £60million, and the Gunners would certainly negotiate tooth and nail to ensure they get as close to that value as possible should they let the former Barcelona star go.
Should United let go of that kind of silly money just to land a near out-of-contract, 28-year-old winger? A player who plays in a role that United have already too much of? Perhaps United should stop being stubborn and realise that their money won’t get them anywhere if they don’t spend it wisely.
And buying Sanchez at this moment, as far as United is concerned, is definitely not a wise decision.