Inspired by TifoFootball’s series of sensible transfers, I will attempt to pinpoint players that big and small sides in the Premier League and beyond can sign. The upper budget limit will be 15 million Euros, which in today’s transfer market is practically a pittance. All valuations are taken from Transfermarkt.
The key area United needs to bring a player in is center forward. With Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure and Anthony Martial’s fitness issues, a player needs to be signed for the remaining campaign. The market for a number 9 is relatively sparse compared to other transfer windows and buying a player in January means paying a premium. The following inclusions are designed as stopgaps until the right transfer comes along and are divided into older players, that can fill a gap for a year or two and youngsters who have the potential to claim a starting position or can be sold on with little to no losses.
- Lois Openda: Currently on the books at high-flying Lens, he is valued at 15m Euros. Having come off 18 goals in 33 games in the Netherlands for Vitesse he is currently on 8 in 17 in France so far this season. One of his highlights was a man-of-the-match performance against PSG on the first day of this year getting a goal and an assist.
- Joshua Zirkzee: Despite Bayern letting him go, I still believe there is a player in there. His career started out before the age of 20 with four goals in 17 appearances for Bayern followed by loans to Parma and Anderlecht. He joined Bologna this summer for only 8.5 million and the Italian club could be tempted into a sale. So far this season he amassed one goal and one assist in six appearances and is currently sidelined with a muscle injury.
- Niclas Füllkrug and Andrej Kramaric: The German Jamie Vardy is on form this season so far with 10 goals in 14 appearances, whilst Kramaric has been prolific for Hoffenheim a couple of years ago and could use a move to recapture form. Both are valued and under 10 million and could provide a stopgap solution.
The other two areas United could strengthen this January transfer season are right back and central midfield. Diogo Dalot has been a man reborn since Erik Ten Hag joined, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s future’s still seems up in the air. In the center of the park, Fred and Scott McTominay have had some inspiring performances this season but do not seem long term solutions for the team.
- CM: Christian Nörgaard and Marten de Roon: The two options here are similar when looking at the numbers, with both posting good defensive and offensive stats and could provide an alternative to Eriksen in cup competitions and as a substitute. Their age difference and the different leagues they have played in provide the difference between them. Whilst Nörgaard has experience playing in England, De Roon might provide more experience, having been crucial to a very exciting Atalanta team in the past six seasons.
- CM: Hidemasa Morita: Valued at only 7 million Euros, Morita might be worth taking a shot on, despite having spent only half a year at his current club, Sporting. In 12 Primeira Liga appearances, he is averaging 86% pass accuracy, 57% tackle success rate and has chipped in with three goals.
- RB: Malo Gusto and Devyne Rensch: Two 19-year-olds showing great promise, Lyon’s Gusto and Ajax’s Rensch both have pass accuracy stats in the high 80%, dribble success rates at around 50% and successful tackles at around 60%. Malo Gusto has a slight advantage, his numbers being higher, whilst playing in a more competitive league.
By: Eduard Holdis / @HE_Ftbl
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