Premier League: The study that hurt Manchester United over its disastrous management

Away from Liverpool (4-0 on Tuesday evening), Manchester United have not won a trophy since 2017, when they topped net transfer spending for ten years with a negative balance of over a billion euros Is.

This is a thorn in the side of Manchuanian policy makers. An annoying habit they struggle to break. And if we believe the latest statements by Ralph Rangnick, who plans to recruit 9 to 10 players for his successor, the trend is not going to reverse. Manchester United is a club that spends a lot on the transfer market, and badly. The conclusions of the latest weekly paper from the CIES Football Observatory are final.

Manchester United has the worst transfer balance in Europe. The club also tops the rankings with a negative balance of over one billion euros, ahead of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Which means, simply put, that the English club makes expensive recruits and sells very little during the expensive transfer window for its cash flow. Fourteen English clubs are among the top 20 clubs with the most negative net transfer expenses.

“The data collected with the greatest care, official or not, for cross-checking all possible sources includes any ancillary costs involved in the transaction, regardless of their actual payment”, specifies CIES. “To the extent of the information available, income from sales commissions is also taken into account,” he says.

Grand spend, (more than) Mixed results

The Red Devils have recruited with a vengeance over the past five or six years, most often for more than mixed results, or even none at all if we stick to the club’s record. Manchester United have not won a trophy since 2017. However, the Mancunian leaders have not shied away from bolstering all of this team’s lines, with a deficit of €586 million since the 2016 summer transfer window, marked by a return by Paul Pogba.

The summer of 2018 was indeed an austere treat, with the club taking a full turn, but it was only a mirage. After a sensible season, United resumed their extracurricular course by spending more than €225m in two transfer windows. The epitome of this spending madness, Harry Maguire arrived from Leicester in the summer of 2019 for €90 million, thus becoming the most expensive defender in history.

Admittedly, the English international has barely missed a minute in the Premier League and has roped in the captain, but the player’s performance in England has been severely criticized, and has been for several months now. In the realm of disappointments, Romelu Lukaku completely failed to live up to expectations during his two seasons in the North of England.

As for the latest arrival, the most striking example is that of Dutchman Donny van de Beek. Bought for a tidy sum of 39 million euros, the former Ajax player spent half of his premiership matches on the bench when he was not injured, as is the case at the moment.

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