Transfer Strategy - Thoughts

Kag

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There isn’t one. We’ve been telling you for weeks.
 

fps

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We seem to try big transfers from other big clubs a lot nowadays. These don't seem to work. We can't cherry pick from teams ranked 3-7th like we used to. I miss the days when we signed players I hadn't heard of who went on to be legends.
 

JB7

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There isn’t one. We’ve been telling you for weeks.
Honestly no idea how anyone can say there has been no strategy this summer.

It's been as clear as day all summer that Ten Hag wanted players to fit precise profiles, he initially wanted midfield players and a centre back - he's got one of the midfield players he wanted and by all accounts the club are waiting on the second player on ETHs say so, he's got a centre back in who he knows well and fits the way we are going to play football. We've brought in a promising left back and shipped out Telles who wasn't dynamic enough for how ETH wants his full backs to play.

It was well reported back in April/May that we were working to a finite budget this summer. Martinez and De Jong is pretty much exactly that budget in fairness. Eriksen came in on a free, Malacia came in for pretty much what we sold Pereira for. ETH clearly had a look at the squad players on tour and is now working to move players on, reports of Bailly to Roma have been emerging, obviously Telles has gone today. Jones, Williams, Tuanzebe and Wan Bisakka also appear to be available and they'll look at further reinforcements with fees brought in from those. We've saved huge amounts in wages with the players that have left or gone out on loan (with Henderson and Telles wages being covered in full by their clubs), you'd imagine some of those funds may be reintroduced to the squad down the line too.

Just because it hasn't move as quickly as we'd all like to see, it's impossible to deny that there is a clear strategy behind what they are doing. They are moving out the players not suited to playing how the manager wants to play and bringing in players well suited to him - they are leaning on the manager more than you would like usually but that is surely due to the main scouting team leaving the club at the end of last season. I'd rather see us bring in the right players than take a scattergun approach picking up anyone who is available regardless of whether they are a good fit or not.
 

Coops73

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Transfer and strategy should not be used together in a sentence where United are concerned, never the Twain shall meet.
 

Kag

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Honestly no idea how anyone can say there has been no strategy this summer.

It's been as clear as day all summer that Ten Hag wanted players to fit precise profiles, he initially wanted midfield players and a centre back - he's got one of the midfield players he wanted and by all accounts the club are waiting on the second player on ETHs say so, he's got a centre back in who he knows well and fits the way we are going to play football. We've brought in a promising left back and shipped out Telles who wasn't dynamic enough for how ETH wants his full backs to play.

It was well reported back in April/May that we were working to a finite budget this summer. Martinez and De Jong is pretty much exactly that budget in fairness. Eriksen came in on a free, Malacia came in for pretty much what we sold Pereira for. ETH clearly had a look at the squad players on tour and is now working to move players on, reports of Bailly to Roma have been emerging, obviously Telles has gone today. Jones, Williams, Tuanzebe and Wan Bisakka also appear to be available and they'll look at further reinforcements with fees brought in from those. We've saved huge amounts in wages with the players that have left or gone out on loan (with Henderson and Telles wages being covered in full by their clubs), you'd imagine some of those funds may be reintroduced to the squad down the line too.

Just because it hasn't move as quickly as we'd all like to see, it's impossible to deny that there is a clear strategy behind what they are doing. They are moving out the players not suited to playing how the manager wants to play and bringing in players well suited to him - they are leaning on the manager more than you would like usually but that is surely due to the main scouting team leaving the club at the end of last season. I'd rather see us bring in the right players than take a scattergun approach picking up anyone who is available regardless of whether they are a good fit or not.
I’m struggling to see the rational anymore. We’re two days away from starting a hugely significant season, one with a brand new coach who deserves a shot here, and we have zero fit strikers at the club. I’m not for hearing it.

Whatever the strategy was or is, it has failed.
 

Trequarista10

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People whinging about not having signed all the best players by X date don't think in terms of strategy. They just react emotionally, expressing their fears through criticism about things they don't comprehend, and revealing their basic need for a comforting hit of dopamine. In fact that's how most people react to most things, from politics to business to Saturday night entertainment to relationships to careers to purchases to investments. People are fecking stupid.
 

MrSingh2002

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1. Identify a playing style
2. Identify the players aged 18-26 that best suit that playing style
3. Throw all the money in the World at those players that best suit the playing style
4. Enjoy success

That's what I want to see.

For what it's worth you can argue Ten Hag is doing just that. I don't care if he overpays for getting the best players for his chosen system.
 

AkaAkuma

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No one has really answered my question as to what approach they would prefer or desire?
  1. Get signings wrapped up in advance of transfer windows
  2. Brief media in advance so fans can clearly see likely outcomes
  3. Incentivize wages so signings can be moved on if they fail
  4. Be more flexible to constant squad churn.
 

Kag

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‘We’ as in who and who have ‘we’ been telling?:houllier:
People like me telling you what I think about the inactivity in the transfer window, or a lack of enthusiasm about the season ahead, to then get some semi-angry response surrounding the perceived negativity. You’ve been hammering people all summer and this very thread is clearly in response to complaints surrounding our current state of flux ahead of the season.

You’ve pre-determined that everything is going to be hunky dory. That’s fine. You won’t be getting it in the neck from me. But this idea that the current complaints are somehow unwarranted or unreasonable is disingenuous.

I’ll answer your original question, for what it’s worth. I said that the club should have wrapped up the large majority of its intended transfer business prior to pre season. It didn’t. We needed a good sitting midfielder or two. Hasn’t happened. We needed at least one forward. We’ve actually got fewer than we did back in May.

Does this appear to be a working strategy to you?
 

Irwin99

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I guess I naively thought that after last season's disaster we would have had a decisive strategy for getting transfer business done quickly and urgently for the new season ahead. Obviously as people point out it can't always happen this way but I guess I expected more of a statement of intent. By that I don't mean spending 100 million on such and such and getting expensive new toys, just clear attainable targets that were being worked on immediately.

On the point of urgency- Eriksen for instance was outstanding against us last season, he was available on a free, and although he was perhaps considering multiple offers, could we not have gotten him before the preseason tour? Why are we (allegedly) heading into the first game of the season with pretty much exactly the same team that disappointed us so often last season? Obviously the club have to be careful and methodical but it's hard to feel the urgency or the recognition that last season was catastrophic for a club like United (a season finish of zero goal difference...for Manchester fecking United!!!!).

The quote from either ten Hag or the club saying that we shouldn't forget that this group of players finished 2nd a year back was a bit disconcerting. I hope I'm wrong but all this feels very familiar: the optimism that the new manger can work miracles, the seemingly dithering transfer strategy, the press briefings that things are different now. I can hear so many echoes of LVG, Jose and Ole at times.

Anyway, I'm going to hope things have changed, we're back on track and all this is worrying about nothing. Blind faith and all :wenger:
 

JB7

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I’m struggling to see the rational anymore. We’re two days away from starting a hugely significant season, one with a brand new coach who deserves a shot here, and we have zero fit strikers at the club. I’m not for hearing it.

Whatever the strategy was or is, it has failed.
In the interests of fairness I don't think Ronaldo deciding he wanted to leave the club while on holiday was part of their strategy and even less so Ronaldo deciding he wanted to leave but with no clubs wanting to sign him.
 

Kag

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In the interests of fairness I don't think Ronaldo deciding he wanted to leave the club while on holiday was part of their strategy and even less so Ronaldo deciding he wanted to leave but with no clubs wanting to sign him.
I’d argue that Ronaldo deciding that he wants to the leave the club while on holiday is exactly the sort of thing a well run club prepares for.
 

Classnordic

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Was very positive at the start of the transfer window, but the whole club reeks of incompetense.
The starting line-up against Brighton is absolutely embarrassing. I really feel for Ronaldo.
 
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TheReligion

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People like me telling you what I think about the inactivity in the transfer window, or a lack of enthusiasm about the season ahead, to then get some semi-angry response surrounding the perceived negativity. You’ve been hammering people all summer and this very thread is clearly in response to complaints surrounding our current state of flux ahead of the season.

You’ve pre-determined that everything is going to be hunky dory. That’s fine. You won’t be getting it in the neck from me. But this idea that the current complaints are somehow unwarranted or unreasonable is disingenuous.

I’ll answer your original question, for what it’s worth. I said that the club should have wrapped up the large majority of its intended transfer business prior to pre season. It didn’t. We needed a good sitting midfielder or two. Hasn’t happened. We needed at least one forward. We’ve actually got fewer than we did back in May.

Does this appear to be a working strategy to you?
Ah so ‘we’ as in the clever people and ‘you’ as in the idiots like me who apparently blindly follow the club we support.

It’s quite interesting this place has a fair few people who seemingly love to be right and try and get one over on others. Even to the detriment of the team. The De Jong transfer thread is full of it and a prime example.

This thread was to see just how people expected our business to shape up. It seems many want everything and dream up scenarios that are impossible.

It was pointed out earlier that this window was always going to be difficult to complete early. We didn’t hire EtH until late and we revamped the back room, coaching staff and scouts even later. Whilst we were doing this other, more settled teams, we’re likely making deals ready for the window to open. We were always going to be behind somewhat due to this and it’s highly likely we will have a busy end to the window as opposed to start. Ten Hag will possibly have wanted to see what he had to work with first hand prior to making certain decisions too.

Of course I’m not happy but ultimately this isn’t going to get fixed this season as it’s a full rebuild and restructuring both on and off the pitch. Like Pep at City and Klopp at Liverpool.

If certain ‘fans’ don’t have the stomach for it then there’s plenty of other clubs to ‘support’.
 

Kag

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Ah so ‘we’ as in the clever people and ‘you’ as in the idiots like me who apparently blindly follow the club we support.

It’s quite interesting this place has a fair few people who seemingly love to be right and try and get one over on others. Even to the detriment of the team. The De Jong transfer thread is full of it and a prime example.

This thread was to see just how people expected our business to shape up. It seems many want everything and dream up scenarios that are impossible.

It was pointed out earlier that this window was always going to be difficult to complete early. We didn’t hire EtH until late and we revamped the back room, coaching staff and scouts even later. Whilst we were doing this other, more settled teams, we’re likely making deals ready for the window to open. We were always going to be behind somewhat due to this and it’s highly likely we will have a busy end to the window as opposed to start. Ten Hag will possibly have wanted to see what he had to work with first hand prior to making certain decisions too.

Of course I’m not happy but ultimately this isn’t going to get fixed this season as it’s a full rebuild and restructuring both on and off the pitch. Like Pep at City and Klopp at Liverpool.

If certain ‘fans’ don’t have the stomach for it then there’s plenty of other clubs to ‘support’.
Many wanted a couple of midfielders and a striker arriving prior to the season starting in order to give Ten Hag the best chance of getting off to a reasonable start. Don’t pretend as if folk are asking for the impossible; they really, really aren’t.

The stuff about being a fan and ‘having the stomach for it’ is waffle and you know it. When things are looking good then people tend to say so. When they don’t look all that good then people tend to say so. All part of being a football supporter, isn’t it?
 

lefty_jakobz

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I long for the days when we found out we had signed a player when he was paraded alongside the manager.

We should have had most of our signings wrapped up before we went on pre season tours.
 

Loon

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I'm sure the acquisition (or not) of de Jong will dictate the next purchase. I'm sure we'll have more players in before the window shuts regardless.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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It seems that the Antony deal was dependent on selling players. Why else would we not do the deal in June? And if the de Jong deal does not happen then Ajax will demand 30m more in August than in June for Antony. A lot now depends on the de Jong deal.
 

Vapor trail

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Most of the scouts were fired before the window opened. The DOF is in his first term within the window. There is no transfer strategy. The club's window thus far proves that ETH is deciding solely on who's coming in.
 

TheReligion

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Many wanted a couple of midfielders and a striker arriving prior to the season starting in order to give Ten Hag the best chance of getting off to a reasonable start. Don’t pretend as if folk are asking for the impossible; they really, really aren’t.

The stuff about being a fan and ‘having the stomach for it’ is waffle and you know it. When things are looking good then people tend to say so. When they don’t look all that good then people tend to say so. All part of being a football supporter, isn’t it?
The fact is we are behind with our recruitment due to the time line of changes at the club. Had we had the structure in place already a managerial change wouldn’t have been an issue but it’s quite clear we were starting from scratch in all areas and this was a key reason why we didn’t spend in January.

I’m confident we will end the window strongly but those who expected business to be wrapped up before the first game were naive in my opinion given the point we were starting from.
 

George The Best

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Most of the scouts were fired before the window opened. The DOF is in his first term within the window. There is no transfer strategy. The club's window thus far proves that ETH is deciding solely on who's coming in.
ETH said he wanted all business done before pre-season started. We have massively missed the boat this window - seemingly for one player.
 

JB7

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I’d argue that Ronaldo deciding that he wants to the leave the club while on holiday is exactly the sort of thing a well run club prepares for.
As I said, how can you legislate for no club wanting to sign him? It could very well be that we prepared for him to want to leave, but nobody wants to sign him.
 

Nick.

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Not impressed by the strategy. The whole Frenkie saga seems to be nothing but a sideshow. This is exactly what Ed would have done.
 

wolvored

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I think we will still sign players who TH can work with, although they probably wont be his first choice. The trouble is we will be up to 3 weeks into the new season before any new players can be bedded in. The first 7/8 games we will be all over the place, results wise.
 

Someone

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My issue with the club is the lack of a long term transfer strategy. Our entire approach since fergie's retirement was to sign the players the manager wants, the club itself had no specific playing style and no director of football, so we went with what the manager wanted. That was a disaster, because Moyes, Van gaal, Mourinho, Ole, and ETH are completely different from one another, so we ended up rebuilding with every new manager.

We're making the same mistake now, we have no transfer strategy, so we're getting the players ETH wants, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but that's not how to run a club long term.

We need a long term strategy that transcends the current manager, a strategy built by experts in the game using our scouting network. My only hope is that Arnold needs more time to build the club from within.
 

Blood Mage

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It's inexcusable and idiotic that we haven't signed a new forward and a CM yet. There's just no way you can spin it, regardless of how desperate you are to be positive about the current state of the club.
 

TheLord

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We look like amateurs in the market. I understand that FDJ's deal is extremely complicated and involves many aspects (like deferred wages) that are not completely under our control, or even Barca's. ETH was appointed our manager in the third week of April and ever since, FDJ has been our number 1 target. And we are no closer to signing him up now than what we were in July.

If you can't get a deal (considered by the manager as the most important) done in nearly 4 months, that's gross incompetence. Not all transfer deals succeed. Fair enough - but in that case we should have moved on to another target at least one or two weeks back. There's no justifying such dilly-dallying incompetence.
 

downunder red

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There is one positive out of all this; if we don't sign many more players and we get our usual load of injuries. We'll get to see a load of the kids playing.
 

Wing Attack Plan R

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Why would we know what to do? We aren't professional scouts or managers or directors. We can clearly see that how the club operate is less than ideal, but that doesn't mean we have the answers for how to successfully run a football club.
It's like, you see a guy land a helicopter in a tree, you don't have to be a fecking helicopter pilot to know that's not how you do it.
 

Wing Attack Plan R

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Fair enough mate. You’ve at least given a clear answer!
I'll admit I'm like this in real life too: I sometimes overpay for things because the time I would spend/waste negotiating a lower price (if I'm buying) or waiting around for someone to meet my asking price is not worth the change. I just bought a computer and paid a couple hundred dollars more for it because I need it this week, but I could have saved that money if I was willing to wait 3 weeks. I have a project starting now, and ETH has a project starting now. We are out of time for being thrifty.

Having FDJ in the side gives us a fighting chance against Brighton, who smoked us 4 goals to nil last meeting. Those 3 points could be the difference between us qualifying for the CL and playing in the Europa. Had we acquired FDJ in time, and whoever else was on the shopping list (Antony?), we would have seen if ETHs master plan worked. If ETH had his players and they got routinely rolled by half the premier league, it would answer the question at the first asking.

Right now we are going to have some new players who are part of the ETH philosophy, and a bunch who are misfits. Is it going to be fair to judge ETH's coaching tactics & strategy when Fred gives the ball away on our penalty area and we get ripped by Forest? (Substitute whichever holdover player you don't like, if you like Fred).

Can you imagine hiring Klopp or Pep and then not getting them their targets? We are to believe ETH is at their level or maybe just below it, but we aren't acting like we believe it. We kinda sorta maybe think ETH is the man to take us forward, but not really.

We should have paid up and gotten the targets, even if we're borrowing from next year's budget.
 

devilish

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What transfer strategy? All we do is dilly dally through the entire year only to be caught totally unprepared when the summer transfer hits us. Then we bend over backwards to what the manager wants because we are unable to persuade him to even consider other alternatives to players in his list and we end up the year looking like fools by either not signing players or by overpaying massively for them. These days even Ajax are taking us to the cleaners. Let that sink in.
 

Melvin Udall

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Most of the scouts were fired before the window opened. The DOF is in his first term within the window. There is no transfer strategy. The club's window thus far proves that ETH is deciding solely on who's coming in.
This seems very much to be the case, and it is concerning.

I understand that Murtough only officially took over a few months ago, but I do not understandwhy he had to wait to make all of these changes with the scouting department. Why would the club have blocked him from making those changes 8 months ago? And if they were stopping him, why would he tolerate that?

I like ETH a lot. I’m more confident about his ability to succeed than I have been about any manager since SAF. But I do not feel comfortable letting him go all in on De Jong when he hasn’t proven anything with the club yet. It’s too much money for an unproven manager, and too risky to let things drag on to the deadline. De Jong is also the type of midfielder who isn’t going to fit well in every system. That’s part of why Xavi is fine with letting him go. I understand why ETH is willing to wait, but that’s where it’s on Murtough to not let the club get yanked around by Barcelona, and to have other options ready.

I think Murtough is doing the right thing by revamping the scouting department and developing the analytics department, and bringing in a progressive manager who is on an upward trajectory with his career. I just don’t trust that Murtough and ETH have the sense of urgency that is required to succeed here.

people say that making 5-6 impact signings isn’t realistic, but Barcelona have done it this year.

I respect ETH not wanting to settle for a backup option he’s unhappy with, but he and ETH should’ve been ready to sign 4-5 players who were ready to improve the starting 11, and another 1-2 like Eriksen and Malacia who added depth now and for the future. Right now we only have one player who seems to fit that bill in Martinez, and he was very expensive. Same for De Jong if the deal goes through.
 
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The Brown Bull

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The whole set up is new, on the footballing front. Let's give it time. Best to assess next year.
The messing and fcuking up isn’t new though.
Assess next year?
Are you having a laugh?
The season is about to start and we have done nothing about midfield! Nothing!
We don’t have a striker either. Incredible.
 

pocco

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I just wish it made more sense.

What I don't understand is, it seems like it's FDJ or bust for midfield. If he signs for Chelsea, then what? Do we wait for another player of his profile to come along? How long do we wait for that? If these players already exist (we can all claim x, y and z player are similar but we don't know exactly what ETH wants/likes in particular about FDJ) then why not just buy them now instead?