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Ruud Gullit offers Manchester United a reality check amid a summer of transfer frustration

United continue to struggle to bring key summer target Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford while missing out on other summer targets under new boss Erik ten Hag

Former Dutch international star Ruud Gullit has read Manchester United the riot act this summer in the wake of the club’s struggles in the transfer market under former AFC Ajax tactician Erik ten Hag.

Expectations surrounding the new Dutch-led regime at Old Trafford in the wake of Ten Hag’s arrival have already fallen short of expectations after United dropped its season opener at home against Graham Potter’s Brighton.

Moreover, despite the Red Devils starting the summer window with optimism after Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia, and Christian Eriksen all arrived in good order, United has since struggled to secure additional targets this summer in the forward line, as well as their prime target and replacement for Paul Pogba, Frenkie de Jong.

Frenkie de Jong (21) of FC Barcelona during the match between FC Barcelona and Pumas UNAM corresponding to the Joan Gamper trophy at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Credit: rosdemora/Alamy 2JMWPYW Barcelona,Spain.07 August,2022.
FC Barcelona v Pumas UNAM

Frenkie de Jong (21) of FC Barcelona during the match between FC Barcelona and Pumas UNAM corresponding to the Joan Gamper trophy at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. Credit: rosdemora/Alamy Live News (Alamy Stock Photo)

In that light, Gullit has weighed in regarding United’s struggles and suggested that they missed the window to truly change the footballing landscape in the 21st century, especially after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I think that there’s a lot of problems at Man United. I think they missed the opportunity to change football. I think they live too much in the past. They talk about the 90s team too much. That’s the past.”

“Nowadays, players want to go to different teams [other than Man United]. They want to go to Liverpool, they want to go to Manchester City, they want to go to Chelsea. They are not the main team anymore in England as they were with Ferguson.”

This criticism comes in the wake of similar sentiments levied by former United midfielder Paul Ince after the England captain of yesteryear suggested that De Jong would have already signed for United if Ferguson was still in charge.

But after De Jong seems in line to either stay at Barcelona or move to Chelsea this summer, in addition to United being second best in the races for Erling Haaland and Darwin Núñez at the very least, questions will continue to be asked whether or not the Red Devils are well and truly capable of returning to the summit in England or if their time in the sun has truly passed.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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