There are many lessons to be learned in football – some people end up learning, other end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again. When Alex Sanchez signed for United, on a high weekly wage, at the time it was seen as excitement by United’s supporters but six months later, that excitement was gone. The player did not fit in at the club, not under Jose Mourinho and not under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Many would hope that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would learn from it.
However, with United still chasing Jadon Sancho this summer and Borussia Dortmund still confirming that they plan on keeping the player for the 2020/21 season, it may seem that United might need to find another target. In the past few days, and with a management change at Juventus, Douglas Costa seems to be a player that will be on the move this summer, if the Old Lady can find a suitor for the Brazilian winger. However, this would just be another mistake for United and show nothing has been learned.
Tuttosport in Italy have reported that Costa could be sold this summer for as little as £18 million with new manager, Andrea Pirlo not having plans for the Brazilian winger at the club. United have previously been interested in the 29-year-old and Sir Alex Ferguson held an interested in the player when he was an emerging talent. However, that does not mean the player should be signed by the club this summer. Sanchez was a mistake – this would be too. United need to keep to their plans.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at the club after the sacking of Mourinho in December 2018, he talked about his plans for the future, if he got the job as the permanent manager, which was confirmed in March 2019. The manager has now completed his first full season in charge of the club, guided United to a third-placed finish in the Premier League and reached the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, losing all of them, which is the only main criticism.
Juventus paid €40 million for Costa in 2018 after a season-long loan spell from Bayern Munich and it was suggested that United made a £54 million bid for the player last summer, which has been suggested by The Sun. A year later, United should be keeping to their young and hungry for success targeting as signing another player, who will be in his 30s in a matter of weeks will not fit into that area. If United are going to build a team for the future, steering clear of Costa would be good advice.
If United ended up signing the Brazilian this summer, his fee might not be all that big but his wage demands will be costly and if it did not work out, which could well be likely based on his achievements during the 2019/20 season, it would be hard to shift another high earner to another club who would struggle to afford the wages the player will be on at United. For that reason, United should keep pursuing the players they are, the ones that fit into Solskjaer’s plans for rebuilding the club.
Written by John Walker