Why Manchester United don’t need a striker and have f***ed it with De Gea

Editor F365
David De Gea looks dejected during a match.

Manchester United needed De Gea to land a striker, except they don’t actually need a striker. Plus Havertz failing upwards, the Saudi Muslim attraction and ‘following Jurgen blindly’.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com.


Man Utd’s moral dilemma
There’s been a lot of pointing and laughing at Manchester United for the fact we seem to be either not addressing adequately, or indeed at all, the most glaring weakness in the side; the lack of a quality centre forward. It’s taken us from Weghorst to maybe Taremi via speculation over Kane and Osimhen.

What I haven’t heard mentioned much is that the club already have under contract arguably the best young striker in the world not named Erling; Mason Greenwood.

We all know the story in the press, I’m sure most have opinions on it (personally, and I know this from lived experience, if you don’t know the people involved directly or haven’t seen the case files, you don’t really know what’s gone on).

Setting that unpleasantness to one side for a moment, this is a prodigiously gifted 21yo that looked set to develop into a £100m+ player 18 months ago. From both a financial and a footballing point of view, it would make total sense. Morally? That’s rather trickier. People will have very different views on that. Just seems odd to me that it’s not being mentioned as a possibility.
Lewis, Busby Way


De Gea strategy
Man United’ transfer money is a mere £120M, very limited indeed. They have paid a ridiculous £55M for Mason Mount albeit there was only one year left on his contract. Letting De Gea leave means they now have to sign a top goal keeper and a top tier proven world class striker with £65M. On what planet is that possible? How are they going to achieve their professed need  to fill the striker and goal keeper positions with that amount of money? They lack strategy as it would appear strategically wise to trigger De Gea’s one year extension, releasing money to get the much need good striker. We will be back to square one with no tier one striker next season, unless the Glazers release more transfer funds. Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, in particular, are spending strategically big within the FFP rules, so why are United using FFP as an excuse for the very low low transfer kitty?
Professor (Dr) David Achanfuo Yeboah


‘Follow Jurgen blindly’
I’m feeling like a bit of a tit with the news that all is in order for us to sign Dominik “the bosz” Szoboszlai.
Going off about how we’re going to have a crisis because of Keita, Milly and the Ox departing… as if Klopp never had it under control.

Apt case of in Klopp we trust, from now on I follow Jurgen blindly.

Wik, Pretoria, (even down a well) LFC


The Saudi attraction
Difficult to know where to start with Paul K’s absolute mess of a mail about Muslim footballers heading to Saudi Arabia. Having lived and travelled extensively in the Middle East for the last 15 years, and having a large extended family who are ethnic Palestinians that grew up in Jordan (but now live split between the UK and US), I can say with confidence that Paul’s email is characteristic of several offensive mischaracterisations and assumptions about Muslims.

Firstly, Saudi Arabia itself is not some kind of Islamo-Disneyland for Muslims. Saudi Arabia’s significance for Muslims centres around making the Haj/Umrah to Mecca, and, to a lesser degree, the religious significance of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. In the same way that Catholics largely do not went to go and settle in Vatican City or Santiago de Compostella or Lourdes, but may visit on pilgrimages due to the sites’ religious significance, the majority of Muslims would not choose to live within the parameters of Saudi’s ultra-hardline religious landscape. Many Muslims I have spoken to are actively troubled by what they perceive as a schism between their more modernised conceptions of their faiths and what they see as the immoral misappropriation of Quranic scripture in Saudi Arabia, knowing that making the Haj is a crucial aspect of their faith.

Secondly, Paul K labours under an assumption that I know offends many Muslims, which is that all Muslims are religious puritans and prudes with no tolerance of others’ ways of life or beliefs. Most Muslims really don’t care if others drink alcohol, dress differently, or eat pork, and, I’m also yet to be aware of Premier League clubs stuffing bacon and hot dogs down Muslim players’ throats as Paul seems to weirdly allude to. Like people of any religions, there are polarities, with the vast majority of Muslims intersecting their faith with what may be perceived as more progressive, liberalised worldviews. Most Muslim countries are also inter-faith, with churches and temples sitting peacefully alongside Mosques. What we would deem as neo-liberalist, individualistic Western ideologies and behaviour are rife in the countries of the Islamic world, even Saudi Arabia.

The likes of Benzema, Kante, Koulibaly and Ziyech grew up within and were acculturated in Western European countries and have categorically not had to live in a way that completely contradicts their beliefs. The concept of social democracy may be divorced from the prevailing Middle-Eastern political structures of absolute monarchies and theocratic dictatorships, but the values of social democracy and Western liberalism are not automatically incompatible with Islam. As an aside, here is a list of countries that I have visited that are Muslim majority and seen Muslims drinking in: Oman, UAE, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Turkey, Kosovo and Azerbaijan. As for the idea that Muslims are put off football, or offended by the irreligiousness of football in the West, I’d suggest that Paul K visit a bar or cafe in downtown Amman, Beirut or Muscat on a Premier League match day to see how affected Muslims are by the sin and degradation that Paul K suggests the Premier League represents to them. Unless Saudi establishes a complete footballing hegemony, Islamic football fans will continue to do what they’ve always done: support their favourite European clubs,

So, sorry Paul, it absolutely is about money. If offered parallel contracts at a European club operating at the level/quality of those Saudi ones, not a single one of those players would be moving to Saudi now. Not one. None of the players you mentioned are going to retire in the supposed Islamic paradises of Riyadh and Jeddah. Despite its enormous wealth, the quality of life in the country is poorer than any footballer moving eastwards will have experienced. Like almost all the other expats in the region, they are trading off their quality of life for the promise of greater earning power. The irony of your mail is that in setting out to defend Muslim players, you’ve parroted the same ignorant, othering, tired tropes and cliches about the faith that perpetuates the image of Islam as incompatible with the West, and characterised an entire faith as pearl-clutching dogmatists. This is exactly the kind of atomising that no faith or culture needs.
D*cky Malb@lls


Kane inquest
Would anyone disagree that Amans mail yesterday is probably the worst that’s ever been written? You give examples where you say history may not be too kind but they’re terrible. Alan Shearer gets into most PL all time XIs. You rate Cantona above him just for the stories? What?! How about you don’t rate either of them if you’re this ignorant to the topic. I doubt you’re aware of this but Shearer actually rejected guaranteed league titles at United to join his boyhood club. This does not make him a worse footballer or lack ambition. If anything, it’s the opposite. The Le Tissier comparison with Defoe is also strange. Completely different players. Defoe was an out and out scorer and I wouldn’t consider Spurs a small club. Le Tissier was technical genius who was admired by Xavi. So I would say he is also remembered quite well, aside from his recent nonsense.

You’ve gone into a whole other topic here after. Gundogan has won more trophies but Gerrard will probably be remembered better. Likewise Kane and Vardy. We all know Kane is a better player and he will also be known as a much better player. I would honestly not rate Kane any higher if he went to Bayern and won a few Bundesliga titles. I get what you’re trying to say but the examples you used were pretty bad.
Dion Byrne


I understand what Aman was saying in his mail and of course football is about winning, but it’s not only about winning. I have no real love for Shearer, being a United supporter, but he was immense. Aman only started watching football at the tail-end of Shearer’s career but I can tell you that he was a world-class striker. Great with both feet, amazing in the air and had an absolutely rasping shot in his locker. Anytime Utd played Blackburn or Newcastle I was always concerned when Shearer played, as the man was a goalscoring machine. 3rd in the ballon d’or in ‘96 and a bloody PL legend.

Le Tissier was a joy to watch, and in many ways reminded me of Cantona in that he played the game with a certain panache; the phrase ‘joie de vivre’ springs to mind. The type of player who played like he loves the game and loved to entertain. The types of players full of tricks, flicks and amazing vision for a mind-blowing pass with the ability to pull it off. Will everyone remember Le Tissier as a legend? Probably not but who really cares? There are plenty of Southampton fans and football fans in general who know how good he was.

But enough with the history lesson, back to Aman’s mail. On one hand he is dismissing stats as effectively meaningless without trohies, suggesting that trophies are the measure of long-term fame or memorability. Arguably, over time trophies become just stats, especially for those who weren’t there to witness it. When I think about memories of Ronaldinho, Messi, Zidane, Cantona or any great footballer I have witnessed I don’t even really think about the trophies they have won – I think about the amazing things they did on the pitch.

So to bring it back to Kane, it would be good to see him join a different club (*cough* Utd *cough*) and not just for selfish reasons. More for him to experience the taste of winning a league title that his goalscoring exploits deserve. But not for a legacy or to live long in Aman’s memory.
Garey Vance, MUFC


Havertz failing upwards
Christ on a crotch-rocket! Just read your article about Havertz’s wages at Arsenal

£325k (380k in euros) per week for statistically the worst finisher in the league last season (a league which contains actual Wout Weghorst FFS!). Talk about failing upwards!

Baffling, especially as they’ve already the proud owners of the contract of the 2nd worst in that list, Eddie Nketiah.

Question for other mailboxers, has there been a clearer case of this happening previously and/or do you also think he must own compromising photo’s of someone high up at the club?


Kai Havertz during a pre-season friendly against Arsenal.


We all feel old
“Could Harry Kane become the modern-day Sol Campbell by joining Arsenal on a free?”

In my opinion the Campbell transfer is still part of the modern day conversation.
Then I realised that it is in fact 2023 and discussing a twenty two year old transfer at the time of that transfer in 2001 would be equivalent to considering  Andy Grays move from Aston Villa to Wolves in 1979 as a contemporary and relevant.
Thanks for making me feel absolutely ancient.
Eoin (now remembering the confusion and arguing in the schoolyard when the backpass rule changed) Ireland 


Scholes at £175m?
You ducked the biggest question here, but figured this is as it’s obvious. With Lamps at £130m and Gerrard at £150m, assume you’re pricing Scholes circa £175m?..

It’s the age old debate, but surely this is the figure Zidane, Pirlo, Iniesta et al would be placing on the principle of the English midfield triumphant?
Duncan (all hail the Ginger Prince)