Grealish jumps atop United queue as January window beckons

Manchester United have won four, drawn six and lost four in fourteen matches this season which is the worst run of results since 1988-89 season at the same stage of the league campaign. Despite the weakness of the squad especially in midfield, Solskjaer's game management was questioned for not retaining the 3-2 lead at Bramall Lane where they ran riot in a seven minute spell being atrocious for the remainder of the game and an unconvincing display at home against Aston Villa from the squad rested from mid-week European excursion that reacted to being a goal down to score two only to concede again for a tame draw. That is four points dropped against newly promoted teams with bigger challenges against Spurs and City yet to come.

Jack Grealish stole the show at Old Trafford in the 2-2 draw in a manner of a young Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Sporting against an MUFC side on pre-season tour in August 2003 the first match played at the Jose Alvalade stadium. Sir Alex Ferguson kept the team coach waiting for an hour after the match in order to complete the deal to bring Ronaldo to Old Trafford for record fee for a teenager and within nine days he debuted spectacularly wearing the famous No 7 shirt against Bolton in a 4-0 win. The stature of that team under Ferguson had the likes of Keane, Neville, Giggs, Scholes, Ferdinand while this present team fouled Grealish turn by turn.

In the recent past MUFC have failed to bring in players like Javi Martinez, Sadio Mane, Wissam Ben-Yeddar to name a few who have excelled in games against the Red Devils or our main rivals and unless acted upon immediately like Ferguson decisively did in 2003 other clubs will scoop up the player. The notoriously slow negotiations at MUFC that took an entire summer transfer window of three months duration to sign just three players further complicates the matter that is clearly not Solskjaer's fault.

Meanwhile there has been some positive developments about other potential MUFC targets; Leipzig not having the first right on fellow Red Bull club Salzburg's Haaland who had previously worked with Solskjaer at Molde, Christian Eriksen refusal to sign an extension in his final year with Spurs to make him available in January, Arturo Vidal not playing regularly for BarcelonaJadon Sancho being targeted in Dortmund and seeking a way back home, Gareth Bale untenable situation at Real after holding 'that' flag while securing Wales qualification for Euro 2020. Only the willingness from Woodward is needed to get some of these deals through to back Solskjaer.

Its also nice to have targets ruled out apparently: James Maddison as Leicester chase top four, Declan Rice upbraided by Roy Keane, Timo Werner wanting to win the Bundesliga with second place Leipzig, Bruno Fernandes signing a new deal with Sporting increasing his transfer fee, Thomas Muller reinstated by interim boss Flick at Bayern.

Ideally would expect Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio who are third in Serie A or Marco Verratti who recently extended his contract with PSG to dominate the midfield. Signing either of this duo seems highly unlikely being cost prohibitive and based on the success of Daniel James from the Championship would not mind Kalvin Phillips from Leeds or Sandro Tonali from recently promoted Brescia. Phillips, Grealish and Haaland - they would fit the bill of young and hungry player profile that Solskjaer has outlined while Savic, Eriksen, Muller would add much needed experience to complement the youthful exuberance of Solskjaer's Special's. A pragmatic view would be the mix of the two sets based on availability and fee.

MUFC have missed Scott McTominay in the two matches and hope for his return against Spurs and City to give them a chance to put up a fight. MUFC to their credit have won against Chelsea and Leicester then drew with Arsenal and Liverpool, but now face Spurs and City after two successive draws putting more pressure on Solskjaer to not assume the long term vision with near term surrender.

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