Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Agents and teams are taking advantage of Manchester United - Andy Mitten

Manchester United have failed in the transfer market for a variety of reasons.

Andy Mitten joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show to discuss Manchester United.

Erik ten Hag lost his first game as Manchester United manager.

Graham Potter won the tactical battle and Brighton enjoyed better individual performances in Old Trafford. While the backlash from United fans has been immediately obvious, it's not a major surprise. United started two new players against Brighton.

Nine starters from last year's dour team remained in place, so how different could things be?

Why have Manchester United not signed more players? The reason is two-fold, according to United We Stand editor Andy Mitten.

"You said it's clubs taking advantage, I don't think it's just clubs," Mitten said.

"I think it's agents as well and if you combine that with Manchester United not being the power that they were, they're not the top dogs anymore. United can't offer Champions League football anymore. United are clearly a huge club and I've been party to what's been going on this season.

"From United's perspective, a lot of agents are trying to pull their pants down. That point was made to me in June."

United have most recently been linked with Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot.

33-year-old Arnautovic will give Manchester United a presence upfront, or at least that's the argument for signing him. But even if Arnautovic fills a specific need for the team, United must sign better players than him.

Rabiot is closer to his prime, but Juventus are happy to get rid of him. He is an underperforming and overpaid player who no longer starts for the club. United will pay €18 million for him, but Juventus would give him away for free.

Mitten doesn't watch Juventus week-in-week-out, but he rated his performances in the past.

"I rate him as a player in the games I've seen him. He was very effective for PSG twice against Manchester United. I know there's a lot of background stuff with him and Arnautovic as well, which could cause some concern.

"But the central point is the recruitment doesn't seem joined up. And that's a far thing to say and has been a fair thing to say since 2013.

"The recruitment is coming from the manager."

United can blame agents and opposing teams, but ultimately they need to make smarter decisions. Ten Hag's team will suffer similar losses over the remainder of the season unless something dramatic changes.

David Collins on his son Nathan growing up.


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Adrien Rabiot Andy Mitten Brighton Erik Ten Hag Manchester United Marko Arnautovic