Man Utd torn apart over wasteful £183.5m transfer spree – Souness EXCLUSIVE
Graeme Souness is adamant Manchester United have wasted cash this summer despite a £183.5million transfer spree. Erik ten Hag’s stuttering side have already lost two of their opening four Premier League matches following back-to-back away defeats on the road at Tottenham and Arsenal.
The Red Devils also flattered to deceive in their two fortuitous home victories over Wolves and Nottingham Forest, respectively.
Souness said: “I don’t think Manchester United are going to be any better than they were last season.
“They’ve spent £72m on a young centre-forward in Rasmus Hojlund, who has not got a great goalscoring record.
“He played 34 games for Atalanta and only hit the back of the net 10 times. Now he’s come to a league where it’s really tough to get goals.
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“I might be wrong but that’s one hell of a gamble for somebody that doesn’t have a proven track record.”
United also boasted the third highest netspend (£129.3m) in the Premier League this summer following the arrivals of Mason Mount, Andre Onana, Hojlund, Altay Bayindir, Sergio Reguilon, Jonny Evans and Sofyan Amrabat.
Yet despite the influx of new recruits, Souness believes Ten Hag is still carrying several passengers who are yet to showcase the quality and consistency required to win the biggest prizes.
He added: “I wrote an article five years ago stating it was the last chance saloon for Anthony Martial. Yet he’s still starting matches as their main focal point in attack.
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“He isn’t a Man United player. He will get you excited and then let you down.
“I still don’t think Antony or Jadon Sancho are long-term solutions for United if they want to win the Premier League and Champions League. They’re still relying on Marcus Rashford.”
Ten Hag’s new first-choice goalkeeper Onana has also struggled to win over Souness following his £47m switch from Inter Milan.
The former Ajax shot-stopper, who could miss up to four United matches this winter should Cameroon qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, was lucky not to give away a stoppage-time penalty on his Premier League debut against Wolves.
Onana was then red-faced by Taiwo Awoniyi’s quick-fire opener in the recent 3-2 triumph over Forest having also previously been lobbed from the halfway line in a friendly against Lens in early August.
The former Sky Sports pundit said of United’s new No.1: “I think Onana will make them better at playing out from the back but will he do the most important thing in keeping the ball out the back of the net? I’m not sure about that one.”
Ten Hag is optimistic the loan acquisition of Morocco international midfielder Amrabat from Fiorentina can help ease the workload of ageing anchorman Casemiro, who has struggled to replicate the glistening form he displayed in his first six months in United red.
Souness concluded: “I’ve been heavily criticised for saying this but in my view Casemiro is a steady Eddie. He’s a good player but not one you want to pay money to go and watch.”
Graeme Souness was speaking as one of the judges for Sky Bet’s Real Football Number Ones campaign, looking for the heroes who aren’t always on the pitch, but are constantly making a difference to the beautiful game.”
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