Man Utd's Transfer Window: Grading the Red Devils' January Business

Disaster, panic, disorganis....ODION IGHALO?!

That's the overriding feeling around Manchester United's transfer business following the closure of the January transfer window, in which two senior players came in and two departed.

They've been criticised to the hilt, United, for their business over the last few years (it's often justified, of course) but it's not quite been as bad as some are making out this time around.

Here's a breakdown on just how good United's transfer business was in January, coming from what is - hopefully - a realistic angle. You be the judge and read on.

Note: Only first team players considered - so, no Nathan Bishop.


​Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes

Signed From: Sporting CP (£45m + Add Ons)

Grade: B+

This was the deal that the fans were crying out for. 

And ​Manchester United managed it in the end. More than six months too late, yes, and at the tail end of an entire month's worth of time where it was possible to sign players, but it was done. Eventually. The club even managed to strike a deal somewhere near to their own valuation of Bruno Fernandes, instead of jumping to Sporting's asking price.

Bruno could've helped United out of their current funk earlier in the month, but the important thing now is the deal is done. And he showed on his debut that he has leadership and technical qualities that are in very short supply in United's squad - especially in midfield. 

That could go a long way. But the all-too-obvious fear is that yet another high-quality signing becomes engulfed in the modern day bleak averageness that has overtaken the current Manchester United squad. United fans can only hope Bruno is strong enough to rise above it and lead for the long-term.

Odion Ighalo

Signed From: Shanghai Shenhua (Loan)

Grade: C

Odion Ighalo's signing is Manchester United in meltdown. Or at least that's been the general reaction to the arrival of a player who last played Premier League football three years ago and has spent all the time since getting paid in China.

The move was a desperate one, of course it was. They're not trying to hide that either. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he'd like to field two strikers at times - you can see why given Anthony Martial's recent struggles - and the Frenchman was only one of two available options before Ighalo's arrival. The other one is 18 years old, so a striker was necessity.

Yes, Deadline Day wheeler-dealing is not a position Manchester United should be in (cue "it's Manchester United...MANCHESTER UNITED!" comment) but the reality is that this is where they are. They're in the middle of a squad clear out and low on numbers. But this deal is not permanent, and that's the important thing here.

This deal isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. It's come at low cost, United have bolstered their numbers temporarily, they have made no indication that there is any intention of this becoming permanent and it doesn't see them deviate from their long-term plan. It buys them some time and allows them to refocus on signing a player striker they actually want long-term. Players are easier to sign in the summer - no matter what anybody else says.

Can you imagine the meltdown if they'd actually signed a 28-year-old Josh King to a five-year deal, paying £30m in the process? Getting stuck with an average player for years is much worse than getting stuck with an average player for months.


Ashley Young

Ashley Young

Transferred To: Inter (£1m)

Grade: C

The emergence of Brandon Williams has helped United's decision to offload Ashley Young to Inter on a permanent deal - but offloading a player who can fit into four positions (right back, left back, right wing, left wing) from a squad already struggling with injuries is a huge risk with months remaining this season.

Young needed to leave as part of the squad's continued evolution, and likely would have in the summer given his contract was expiring, but only time will tell whether this is another decision that comes back to bite United in the short term.

Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo

Transferred To: Estudiantes (Loan)

Grade: C

Has barely featured for years at Old Trafford, despite the inexplicably huge new contract he was handed in March 2018. That deal, along with the contract for ​Phil Jones, were the alarm bells to show just how poorly run this United have been over the past few years.

​Rojo needed to leave, and has departed on loan to get some football under his belt ahead of the Copa America. The trouble for United is he's still on their wage bill, and will be for another 18 months.

Manchester United's Overall Transfer Grade - January 2020: C

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Source : 90min