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Manchester United have been one of the busier clubs in the January transfer window with Erik ten Hag moving to bring in three new faces. The Red Devils’ business has been made more impressive by the fact the club have operated under a tight budget with loan deals the best way to make the most of their money. Here Express Sport reviews the club’s transfer dealings as we assess the new men.
United were able to bring three new faces to Old Trafford and each player fulfilled an obvious need within the squad.
Jack Butland was the first to arrive with Ten Hag needing a new back-up goalkeeper after Newcastle recalled Martin Dubravka. It is difficult to look too much into the position of second-choice keeper given they are so rarely called upon but the Englishman is a solid presence and unlikely to let anyone down when he does pick up the gloves.
It is from here that United’s business gets more exciting with key players signed to take on important roles over the rest of the season. Wout Weghorst was the second player to arrive as a short-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Dutchman’s arrival initially raised eyebrows given his poor six-month spell at Burnley last season however it is a signing that makes more sense when looked at closer. Weghorst is deceptively good at pressing despite his 6’6ft frame and fits the way Ten Hag would like to play.
He is also very low risk given he is not contracted beyond the end of the season when the club can go after a high-profile long-term option. Furthermore, he is likely to spend most of his stint at the club as second choice with Anthony Martial above him in the pecking order when fully fit.
Weghorst has already started to repay the faith shown in him by Ten Hag, scoring his first goal for the club in the League Cup semi-final win over Nottingham Forest and he will hope to add to his tally in the coming games.
United’s incomings were expected to be complete after the Dutchman’s arrival however Christian Eriksen’s ankle injury forced the club back into the market. The Dane will be missing for at least the next three months with reinforcements urgently sought at late notice as a result.
Marcel Sabitzer was the player the club ended up settling on. The Austrian was confirmed in the final hours of deadline day after arriving from Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the season. It remains to be seen what impact he will have but he fills a position that the club desperately need to strengthen given their injury troubles and is a big name to have come in on deadline day.
However, the Red Devils have failed to clear out some of their deadwood this month. The likes of Brandon Williams and Phil Jones will remain at the club but Axel Tuanzebe has left to join Stoke. It is certainly one area that United could have improved in the transfer window this month.
Overall, United’s transfer window can be considered to be something of a success with Ten Hag making the most of limited funds to make useful additions to his squad.