After what feels like an eternity, Manchester United finally appear to be heading in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Last summer saw
Wan-Bissaka and James, meanwhile, have both proven to be hugely valuable first team members of the squad. James may have had his critics at points this season, but no one could ever fault his work ethic or desire.
Of course, the arrival of Bruno Fernandes only further reinforces the point that United now finally have a clear transfer plan. The Sporting CP midfielder’s character and hunger for success has already made him a huge fan favourite at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are continuing to apply this strategy, with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho the ?three players the club are most keen on – but recent reports suggest United are also considering a move for Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele. ?SPORT claim that United and Arsenal are keen on the player, while the 22-year-old has even contacted Anthony Martial to find out more about life at Old Trafford.
But it simply doesn’t make sense for ?Man Utd to ditch their new plan in the market, which has proven to be successful, just to gamble on ?Dembele.
The key phrase in the above sentence being ‘when fit’. He’s already suffered nine injuries in his time at ?Barcelona, forcing him to miss a grand total of 70 matches for his club. He only joined in the summer of 2017. Perhaps the most worrying thing is that these injuries have largely been muscular – the type of injury which is more likely to reoccur and sap a player’s strength in the long run, as opposed to impact injuries.
In SPORT’s report, they add that both the Red Devils and Arsenal are carrying out an investigation to discover why he has suffered so many injuries, and whether they will be able to solve the issue. They also touch on whether the player’s lifestyle has had any impact.
This, here, is another problem.
United have developed a group of players who (largely) want to be there and want to achieve success with the club. But this all starts from doing the most basic of things, such as showing up to training on time or having a routine to best prepare yourself.
However, Dembele has a history of skipping training or showing up late, and for reasons such as…oversleeping.
During a clash with Athletic Club at the start of the 2019/20 season, Dembele suffered his latest injury problem. There’s nothing he nor his club could have done about that – but what he could have done after was at least show up for tests the following day to determine the extent of the problem. But instead, as ?MARCA reported, he didn’t show up even after medical staff and coaching staff tried to get hold of him.
There are a number of further examples to back this up, but the pattern is clear. Once again, we must reiterate that Dembele is a special, special player, and it is important to remember that for all his talent, he is still only 22.
But for United, they have only recently set themselves on the correct path as far as their transfer strategy is concerned, and it would be counter-productive to ditch their new plan by moving to sign Dembele.
Man Utd have their sights set on Sancho, that much is clear, but whether they land him or not, the Red Devils should not be making an approach for the talented Frenchman – it’s just too much of a gamble.
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