Merson slams ‘fourth rate’ Man Utd ‘panic’ signing as pundit explains why target is not ‘good’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd-linked Sabitzer

Paul Merson has responded to reports linking Man Utd with Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer after it was confirmed that Christian Eriksen is injured.

The Red Devils were initially expected to have a quiet transfer deadline day, but they have been forced into the market following Eriksen’s injury.

The Denmark international has been a key player for the Red Devils following his summer move to the club on a free transfer.

Man Utd were dealt a severe blow over the weekend as Eriksen suffered a serious ankle injury during their FA Cup win over Championship side Reading.

It has since been confirmed that the midfielder will be out of action until the end of April. Erik ten Hag has since admitted that it will be “difficult” for United to acquire a replacement for Eriksen on deadline day.

“Of course, he’s disappointed about it, we are disappointed about it but it happens in top football, it did and we have to deal with it,’ Ten Hag said on Tuesday. On deadline day it’s difficult, you can’t make policy on such bad injuries,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“We have players in the midfield department, good players, we have players who can fill the gap.

“I think you can never fill that [gap] because every player has his own characteristics and identity. Another player will fill it in a different way but that doesn’t mean you have to be less successful.

“It’s quite clear that Cristian Eriksen for our squad brings top quality, especially he has some specifics which are hard to replace, for instance, his impact in the final third with the final ball.”

The Red Devils are certainly trying, though. Bayern Munich midfielder Sabitzer has been mentioned as a potential addition as he has been ‘offered’ to United and Chelsea. 

Merson is not sold on this signing as Sabitzer would be “pushing” for a start at Bayern “if he was that good”.

“He doesn’t get in the Bayern Munich team as the manager said, he’s way off that. I know the two in midfield are cemented but if he was that good, he’d be pushing,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“Again it goes back to panic. There was no interest in him on January 1, now it’s a panic, Eriksen’s just got injured and it’s a panic and you’re bringing fourth rate Bayern Munich players in. For me, I’m not sure about that.

“This lad wasn’t on the radar before, he doesn’t get in the Bayern Munich team. If I’m a Manchester United fan I’d be looking and thinking he’s not in their first team so why would we want him in our team. Are there players there already who are better than him?”

Bayern paid around €16m to sign the 28-year-old from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig in 2021. He has made 24 appearances this season but he has only started seven times in the league.

READ MORE: January Transfer Deadline Day 2023 – follow it live with Football365