Manchester United are always looking for ways to improve their squad, with fans regularly calling for big-money transfers to be sanctioned.
However, spending significant sums doesn’t always guarantee success – as the Red Devils have shown in the past. And, you only have to look at rivals Liverpool to see that you can find the right players in a variety of places. They signed two recently-relegated players in Andy Robertson from Hull and Gini Wijnaldum from Newcastle, with both starring at Anfield since making the switch.
🗣️ “This season goes to show how important home fans are when you get them back again,” says the boss.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 16, 2020
“Our fans are so so important and I can’t wait to get them back [at Old Trafford].”#MUFC #SHUMUN pic.twitter.com/d8ShONII3R
So, United may need to have a more open-minded approach when it comes to recruitment, and there are players at what might be seen as unfashionable clubs that could help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. One of those is David Brooks, who is currently playing for Bournemouth.
Doing a deal with the second-tier side could be difficult though. With the Cherries 15/8 title favourites in the Championship betting odds, they are not going to want to sell mid-season, as it would seriously harm their promotion hopes. But, if they do go up, they will be able to command a bigger fee for the Welsh international. Therefore, this is not an easy deal for United to do, yet that’s for the money men at Old Trafford to sort out.
From a football perspective, Brooks would obviously jump at the chance to move up north, and it’s a deal that could pay off for United. Whilst many may feel the leap from Bournemouth to the biggest club in England is a huge one, which it is, the attacking midfielder has qualities that could improve the Red Devils.
Firstly, he is an intelligent, creative footballer. Capable of playing between the lines, he could be the spark that Solskjaer needs in certain games. United’s home form has been a problem for some time now, with a key reason for that the team’s inability to unlock a deep defence. The opposition know that playing with a low block prevents the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial running in behind, which means they can focus all their attention on stopping Bruno Fernandes. That means finding a new attacking midfield option has to be a priority.
Another positive is Brooks’ age. At 23, he is entering his prime years and United would be getting a player that is desperate to prove himself at the top level. Unlike previous additions, he will have a hunger and determination to succeed. Pulling on the famous red shirt will mean everything.
A David Brooks header helped Wales grind out a 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 15, 2020
It leaves Wales one win away from Nations League promotion…
🗞 Report: https://t.co/WMDJlGjnVA#bbcfootball pic.twitter.com/E1KtvUl9Op
Doubts about the Welsh international are warranted, as he is unproven at the highest level. However, seven goals in his first, and only, full Premier League season are reassuring. Plus, the fact he is stepping up to play with real quality players should take Brooks’ game up another level – just as Diogo Jota has done since swapping Wolves for Liverpool.
Ultimately, United have to be smart with their recruitment and they clearly need to change the approach they’ve taken in recent years, as it just hasn’t worked. Identifying players who are improving and capable of becoming stars seems the way to go, and Brooks falls into that category. Whether it’s January or next summer, United should be laying the groundwork now to ensure they secure his signature before he ends up elsewhere.