Since the great Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United have spent over £280 million on transfers in just 5 transfer windows, a fee that Sir Alex Ferguson only met in his last 9 seasons (18 transfer windows). Of course there is a case for the new managers needing to make the squad their own whilst trying to keep in the top 4.
In the Ferguson years, United would often spend between £20 million and £50 million (with the exception of the £70 million 2007/08 season) on team needs and top prospects.
When Sir Alex retired, David Moyes was put in charge of his Premier League winning side. For some reason, he didn’t realise that he was no where near the manager that Ferguson was.
To attempt to make the team his, he sacked Sir Alex’s world class staff, and overpaid for Marouane Fellaini. He failed to realise that the United defence was very weak, as was the central midfield position. He was sacked before the end of his first season.
Then Louis van Gaal came in, he recognised the team needs, and brought in Rojo, Blind and Shaw to improve a fraying defence and Ander Herrera to fill the central midfield need.
He also spent a record fee on Ángel Di María who, at the time, was one of the best wingers in the world. If not for a falling out with the Dutch manager, leading to his eventual sale, he would have been seen as a very good transfer, seeing as he got 12 assists and 4 exquisite goals during his very limited game time on the field.
This season the boss has solidified the defence with his trust in Chris Smalling and the recruitment of Matteo Darmian at right back. He’s also added world class depth to the midfield and secured United’s striking future with Anthony Martial.
Speaking to Wall Street analysts, prior to an intended launch of a further £240 million worth of shares of the New York Stock Exchange, Ed Woodawrd has said:
“We have seen a large number of ins and outs in the last two summer windows,”
“We were used to more modest numbers. Maybe we will go back to more normalised numbers.”
Manchester United have needed to spend this inordinate amount of money to get competitive with Chelsea and Manchester City. When you don’t have one of the best managers of all time anymore, you need to spend money to compete for the title, or to at least make the Champions League.