Manchester United are perceived to have failed in the transfer window this summer.
The Red Devils only signing of any note came when the champions paid £27.5million to Everton for Belgium international midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
Fellaini is a good player, but just a short time ago United could have signed him for his release clause of £23.5million, for those whose maths skills are not very good (like me!) is £4millon less than they have paid for the midfielder.
Everton must be laughing all the way to the bank. It became almost inevitable that Fellaini would leave the Toffees for United, but most Evertonians had believed United would have met his release clause and buy him earlier in the transfer window.
The fact that David Moyes left it so late on deadline day to sign Fellaini smacks of desperation from the Scot. United had failed in a bid to sign Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera and a signing was needed.
United were believed to be keen on adding both the players to their squad, so Fellaini was always going to be a target, why then leave the deal so late to complete? No doubt Moyes should have done more in the transfer market this summer.
Manchester United have had a weakness in the centre of midfield for the last few years and even Sir Alex Ferguson could not find a suitable solution. The weakness was not really exposed in the Premier League last season, because other areas of the team made up for it.
However, it has been exposed in Europe. United’s lack of quality central midfielders have hampered United’s challenges for the Champions League in recent years, although last season their exit was helped by a debatable refereeing decision.
Marouane Fellaini will add steel to the United midfield and contribute going forward. He is most likely going to be playing in a deeper role in midfielder than he did at Everton last season.
Fellaini has stated that his best position is a defensive midfielder and he has started the season in that position at Everton under Roberto Martinez.
I do believe that Fellaini will probably be a good signing for United. However, he is being used as a scapegoat because he is United’s only real signing this summer and United have slightly overpaid for him. The fans are taking the clubs lack of transfer activity out on the Belgian.
That should not take away the fact that he is an experienced Premier League midfielder, who scored 11 goals last season in the top-flight. Granted he was used as a second striker at times, but that is still a pretty good goal scoring record for Fellaini.
The lack of transfer activity has led to increased pressure on United boss David Moyes. The Scot has failed to secure any other signings this summer, other than Fellaini.
The pressure on Moyes was somewhat increased by a lukewarm performance from his team in a 1-0 defeat at arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday afternoon and a rather uninspiring 0-0 draw against Chelsea the game prior to that.
They were not great performances, but people cannot jump the gun just yet. The season is only three games old and Moyes is a new manager. It will take him time to instil his ideas into his team and he has had just a few months in the United manager’s chair.
Obviously former-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson casts a big shadow. Anybody taking over from the veteran Scot was always going to find it difficult at first and Moyes is no different.
Moyes was Sir Alex’s first choice to replace him in the United hot seat, so he obviously had faith in the former-Everton boss, whether that faith is well-placed only time will. Some United fans think it may not be.
Manchester United’s performances will improve as the season wears on and Moyes settles in as United boss. The Red Devils have had a difficult start to the season with games against Chelsea and away at Liverpool.
David Moyes reign in charge of the champions cannot be judged on its first few months. If after a season Manchester United have struggled to perform then questions must be raised, but for now United fans need to get behind their team, club and manager.
Are you disappointed in Manchester United’s summer transfer activity?