This summer, Man United’s ins-and-outs have drawn attention, including Alessia Russo’s departure, Gabby George’s arrival, and everything in between.
As the transfer deadline approaches, Manchester United isn’t holding back in their effort to complete their roster by 11 PM. Just weeks before the start of the 2023–24 season on October 1st, the dust will briefly settle on the Women’s Super League.
Overall, United has done well to wrest talent away from elite teams across the world. They were forced to do so due to the alarming number of departures over the summer. Recently, Leigh Sports Village has seemed a little neglected; it appears that United has just let go of youthful, aspiring talent and instead concentrated narrowly on luring game-changing players.
I could be mistaken, but it seems strange to have so many disgruntled employees leave all at once. Even though not all of them are crucial players, the dramatic Manchester City max exodus from a year ago has been completely overblown. They could have changed the game in Red if they had been given a chance to play and some game time.
But Marc Skinner has used all of his might to entice Geyse out of Barcelona, even though she had no intention of actually leaving. Hinata Miyazawa, the winner of the World Cup’s Golden Boot, was a prize that United fought hard against Liverpool for. But Skinner has also managed to wrest Gabby George, 26, back to her academy roots by luring her from Everton’s clutches
In an effort to desperately close the Ona Batlle-shaped hole at the right rear, wear a red shirt.
alk of the community? Mary Earps is not moving. Fantastic for fans and season goals, but when it comes to the FIFA Best ‘keeper, United are either damned if they do or damned if they don’t.
See, selling her to Arsenal in this summer transfer window means a large number of money, but it also shows they are not serious about the direction this club wants to go. But why not wait until her 2024 contract expiration? She does move for free, though. Free!?
Earps has one more year left on her contract, but as of January, she can look for other arrangements for a free transfer in the summer of 2024. As a result, the club has roughly three and a half months to persuade her to stay put. However, United has added reinforcements, acquiring OL Reign goalie Phallon Tulis-Joyce from the NWSL.
Tulis-Joyce’s acquisition did prompt United to make a play for Sophie Baggaley, who the club had been considering as a “Cup keeper” for the previous two years. Baggaley was a master at Bristol City and a pillar of their previous WSL run, but at United, he found it difficult to get a look in behind England’s number one. Stuck behind is a challenging situation to be in.
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However, the feeling of neglect extends beyond the position in front of the goal; players want playing time, and if you don’t give it to them, well, they’ll find a team that will, and this is where United appeared to have fallen.
Skinner’s starting XI hardly changed at all from the previous season. The only unknown is one of the two players out on the right flank (Nikita Parris or Lucia Garcia), which leaves little room for any aspiring player to go up. His predictability in personnel became amusing to league opponents.
Take Martha Thomas, for instance. She is a brilliant, significant player who deserves to play more than 408 minutes total across 20 league games, or 20.4 minutes per game. Ella Toone, a fixture in the United lineup, played 4.3 more minutes than the average league player. She has permanently relocated to Tottenham, so it makes sense that Thomas looked for playing time elsewhere.
Consider Vilde Boe Risa, a talented set-piece taker and a solid player for Norway internationally who has yet to see much action in the middle of the park for United. The issue is that Katie Zelem, Skinner’s captain and a top-tier player who has played 369 minutes in her current position despite being a set-piece master in her own right, is unwilling to be benched or moved about.
Boe Risa has played in 12 league games, which begs the question: Will any other midfielders get a chance?
The problem keeps coming up everywhere in the area. Despite Adriana Leon’s superior speed and numerous goals in the vital final third, Skinner continued to favor Alessia Russo. Frustrated, Leon moved to the NWSL on loan and is presently working for Aston Villa. Who was to blame her? in five games, 81 minutes? I would also stroll. a severe setback for United.
Maria Thorisdottir was a mainstay in 2021–2022, but in 2022–203, her playing time was cut in half, from 1,642 minutes to 291, a 5.3-fold decrease. There is a strong sense of being underappreciated; there is no question that Skinner has his favorites, but how will it work out with so many new players this year? It is seen by the number of players who have made their loan deals permanent, including Kirsty Hanson at Aston Villa, Chloe Williams, and Niamh Murphy at Blackburn Rovers.
The risk of injury and exhaustion is ten times higher this year due to the Champions League, increased international schedule brought on by the Nations League, FA Cup, and league campaign, which will hit Skinner right between the eyeballs if he fails to recognize potential in players and runs the risk of overplaying players.
Look at Toone; both domestically and internationally, she struggled to regain her footing after the Euros. She has gone through periods where she lacks motivation, loses her temper, and performs poorly. Is the fact that others keep playing her and don’t manage the minutes hurting her? There will always be a desire to play. It appears that we are entering a period where footballers are treated like machines and are beaten to a pulp.
Let’s hope that with these summer additions, there will be some rotation, a breath of fresh air in numerous areas, and an opportunity for players to demonstrate their abilities on the field.
The back line is still a concern, though. Given that George has joined the team, has Jayde Riviere’s chance to compete for the right back position been lost?
In January, Estelle Cascarino joined United on loan, but what good was that? She plays 20 minutes against Leicester City in a WSL match. Is it surprising that United has fewer players on loan from them this year? Should the roster’s diverse group of defenders receive a word of caution for this?