‘Best players won’t come to Man Utd’ – Cantona urges Red Devils to be ‘clever like Liverpool’ in transfer market
- Red Devils continue to spend big
- No trophy win since 2017
- More additions to be expected
WHAT HAPPENED? There was a time not all that long ago when the finest players on the planet wanted to ply their club trade at Old Trafford, with the Premier League heavyweights dominating domestic and continental scenes under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. A humbling fall from grace has been endured since then and a long-running rebuilding project – which now has Erik ten Hag at the helm – has not yet been completed to the point that United can once again compete for the most sought-after of talents.
WHAT THEY SAID: Club legend Cantona admits as much, with the Red Devils icon telling reporters at the National Football Museum: “During the time of Alex Ferguson, if you wanted a player, the best in the world, he would come to Manchester United because they were winning in England and Europe. Manchester United were the biggest club in the world and they had the money to buy any type of player.
“Now it is different because the best players want to play in a team to win things and United are not in the position to be able to choose the best ones because the best ones won't come to United. So you have to be clever. Clever like Liverpool. They took [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah, not the best players in the world, but with a great team and a great atmosphere, together they won things. And then Mane and Salah became the best players in the world. That's a great example for United.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: United were able to bring in the likes of Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen last summer, while a loan deal for Netherlands international striker Wout Weghorst is about to be completed in the January window following the sudden departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in December.
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WHAT NEXT? United have been making positive progress under Ten Hag, with the Red Devils through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and knockout play-off round of the Europa League ahead of a derby date with Manchester City on Saturday that will see them try and move up to third in the Premier League table.