Manchester United must try and sign strikers out of their price range like their rivals. Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho is not enough.
One would think that news of Raphael Varane’s impending arrival could only improve the mood and atmosphere around Manchester United. But excellent defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka is apparently awful at defending and it is not yet known which of his two very good goalkeepers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pick as his regular starter.
And that is not even the worst of it, according to Martin Blackburn of The Sun…
‘That end of the pitch is one dilemma for Solskjaer but some supporters will be worried about the other end too, despite the arrival of wideman Sancho.’
If those supporters do indeed exist, someone let them know Manchester United scored 121 goals last season.
‘Champions City are trying to sign 28-year-old Spurs skipper Harry Kane, while Chelsea have made enquiries for Erling Haaland, 21, of Borussia Dortmund.
‘Both strikers are valued at upwards of £150m by their clubs.’
Forgive Mediawatch but what is it about Manchester City and Chelsea pursuing strikers almost certainly out of their price range that should leave Manchester United fans ‘worried’?
‘Barring a huge change of plan, Solskjaer will stick with what he has in terms of striking options for the season ahead.’
It is almost as if they had three players scoring 20 goals or more last season. Meanwhile, Chelsea only had three reaching double figures – with the most on 12 – while Manchester City’s top two goalscorers were Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden.
And remind us again which of those three clubs has just signed a player with a combined 36 goals and assists in 38 club games in 2020/21? No wonder those imaginary Manchester United fans are ‘worried’ about a lack of firepower.
Edin for trouble
By the way, Edinson Cavani should sue for this level of defamation in the same article:
‘Greenwood, Cavani and Martial only managed 21 goals in the Premier League between them last term.’
Cavani started 13 games and scored ten of those goals. He scored a goal in the Premier League every 136.6 minutes, better than Mo Salah (one every 140.1 minutes) and almost as good as Harry Kane (one every 134.2 minutes).
‘United will need more from all three this time around’ is apt when Martial managed a goal every 371.8 minutes. He and Cavani (again, one every 136.6 minutes) are definitely as bad as each other.
On the opposite page to that piece is a brief match report from Graham Nickless, who watched Chelsea beat Bournemouth on the south coast. It begins thus:
‘Thomas Tuchel gave Tammy Abraham a chance but the Chelsea ace fluffed his lines in a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
‘And the Blues boss should make another SOS (Save our Season) call to Borussia Dortmund for striker Erling Haaland.’
Glad to see no-one is losing their minds and saying the European champions have to almost triple their club-record transfer on a completely settled and happy player after winning a pre-season friendly.
‘Save our Season’? It’s sodding July. And they won the Champions League 60 days ago.
On the subject of The Sun and pre-season friendlies, Manchester City beat Preston 2-0 with seven internationals starting.
That crisis lasted long. And a free-kick curled towards the top corner can never be described thus…
Can one ‘slot’ a free-kick? pic.twitter.com/BBZb2KYLsf
— Football365 (@F365) July 28, 2021
‘A move for England defender Kieran Trippier, currently at Atletico Madrid, remains possible as he could provide full-back cover on both sides.
‘The Bury-born former City trainee, 30, is keen to return to England and would welcome a move. But La Liga champions Atletico are in no rush to sell and will play hardball over the fee for the former Tottenham man’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun, July 28.
‘England full-back Trippier, 30, wants the move to Old Trafford after two successful years at Atletico Madrid – and a transfer worth £18m is in the final stages’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, July 17.
From ‘in the final stages’ and ‘all but done’ to just ‘remains possible’ in 11 days. Ouch.
Own goals and Raphs
‘Varane tipped to be next Dias as Man Utd announce deal with Real Madrid’ is a prediction the Daily Mirror website do not seem particularly proud of, the headline buried as it is halfway down their homepage.
Mind you, that is nothing compared to the amount of scrolling one has to do to find who is responsible for said ‘tipping’. It is only by the tenth paragraph that Ray Parlour is named.
“If Varane can be very similar to how Ruben Dias settled in to the Premier League then they’ve got a fantastic defence,” he told talkSPORT. ‘The next Dias’ – more than four years older than the current Dias – will welcome the advice.
In for the Kyl
The same website features this absolutely glorious headline sh*thousery:
‘Mbappe transfer plan emerges after Man Utd agree to sign Varane’
A URL of ‘varane-mbappe-united-transfer-plan-24631068’ does little to dispel the implication that this is Manchester United’s ‘transfer plan’. How unfortunate that the confusion can only be cleared up with a click and it becomes apparent that this is all about the unnamed Real Madrid.
Roberto Carlos has some advice for England in the Daily Mirror:
‘Carlos understands the pain as he was part of the Brazil side beaten 3-0 by France in the 1998 World Cup showpiece.
‘But they bounced back to claim their nation’s fifth World Cup crown in Japan and Korea in 2002.
‘Now the legendary Real Madrid and Brazil left-back, 48, reckons England should aim to do the same after their 1-1 draw with Italy went to spot-kicks and Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all failed to score in a painful exit.’