·25 September 2023
·25 September 2023
Manchester United could do with having Declan Rice in their midfield at the moment, and journalist Dean Jones has explained to GIVEMESPORT why they missed out on securing his signature in the summer transfer window.
It's been a difficult start to the campaign for the Red Devils, and injuries certainly aren't helping them.
During the summer transfer window, it became clear that a new central midfielder would have been high on the agenda for United. Mason Mount arrived at the club early in the window, but Erik ten Hag and his recruitment team wanted more bodies in the middle of the park. With Casemiro and Christian Eriksen both in their thirties, it's no surprise that United wanted to bring in some youthful legs. Eventually, the Manchester club secured the signature of Sofyan Amrabat on an initial season-long loan.
Injury problems have made it appear like United needed extra reinforcements in almost every area of the pitch. New signing Mount has spent the majority of his United tenure sitting on the treatment table, whilst Amrabat has taken some time to gain full fitness before making his debut against Burnley at the weekend. Ten Hag was hoping to bring in current Arsenal midfielder Rice before he made his move to north London in the summer transfer window, but a transfer to Old Trafford never looked like materialising. After years of misspending, bringing in Rice, who is earning £240k-a-week at the Emirates, would have been near impossible for the Red Devils, considering he cost a mouthwatering £100m.
United fans have held regular protests against their owners over the last few years after such little success in their recent history since Sir Alex Ferguson departed, and it's largely down to some terrible recruitment which has limited their spending this year.
You'd imagine, if Arsenal and United both pushed until the very end to try and secure Rice's signature, he may well have opted for a move to the Emirates anyway. Mikel Arteta's side have shown signs of being on the up over the last couple of seasons, whereas United have struggled to compete for the Premier League title.
Jones has suggested that unless United manage to finalise a takeover, they're going to find it difficult to be in the mix for players like Rice. The journalist adds that as a result, they've had to go and sign Amrabat on an initial loan. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Jones said...
"Obviously, if they could have got to Declan Rice, it would have made a massive difference to the way that they could control a game and that's been one of their big problems. Having the right tempo at the right times has been a problem for United and having players that can spot the out balls too. One of the strengths of this United team should be that they are good on the counter because of the pace that they've got within their attackers, and Declan Rice could have probably helped make the most of that, as well as breaking up the play like he does. But the fact is United, without the takeover, were never going to be in a situation where they can actually go and get him and they've had to now go out and get Amrabat on loan initially at a cut price fee to hope he can do a similar job and give those traits. So maybe once Amrabat is in that team, we'll see what United are really made of I think."
It remains to be seen whether Amrabat can adapt to the Premier League with ease and produce the performances we saw for Fiorentina in Serie A. Rice needed little time to settle in at Arsenal after already playing for years in England's top flight. What Amrabat can offer is a little more control and defensive stability in the United midfield.
There's no doubt Amrabat could make a similar impact on the United midfield that Rice has at Arsenal, if the Moroccan international is able to settle into life in Manchester fast. Considering the struggles they've had so far this season, Amrabat could quickly become a key player at Old Trafford.