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Manchester United have underlined their Premier League title credentials with two marquee summer signings.
Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane have arrived at Old Trafford – for a combined £106.9million – as United continue to target their first top-flight crown since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
A season of progression under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United finish as runners-up to Manchester City and reach the Europa League final.
But can they go one better in their quest for trophies this time around?
In a market that was meant to be suppressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, United are not the only club to spend big this summer – with City splashing out £100million on Jack Grealish and Chelsea also welcoming Romelu Lukaku back to the Premier League for £97.5million.
Here, we take a closer look at what top pundits such as Gary Neville and Roy Keane think about the business which has been undertaken at Old Trafford.
Sharing his verdict on the club’s two major signings, Carragher said: “I actually think the acquisition of Sancho is a really good signing. I think Varane has been brilliant for Real Madrid next to Ramos, but I actually think Sancho is a better signing for Man United long term.”
Discussing the impact made by Sancho already, he said: “I speak to the guys who are there [at Carrington] and the feedback is that there is more [excitement] than what they expected.
“Fitness is going to be an issue right now and he’s going to have to play catch-up because of the Euros – but we all know he’s got flair, the skill and he’s going to excite these fans.
“He will get them on the edge of their seats. There’s more to Sancho than just that. There’s an end product and he’s got a winning mentality.
“During the last three seasons, he’s got over 30 goal involvements in each one. That shows you that he wants to win and wants to define games. He was doing that at Dortmund and he wants to bring that here in a red shirt.”
Sancho is finally a United player after signing for £72.9m from Borussia Dortmund. (Image: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images) Roy Keane
Speaking on The Overlap earlier this month, Keane said: “I think the couple of signings they’ve made are obviously fantastic, there’s no doubting the quality they’ve got in.
“But I’m worried definitely about the middle of the park – we can get to the goalkeeper in a minute and I’m still not convinced with the right-back (Aaron Wan-Bissaka), but the signings have been good.
“I have a feeling United will pull something out of the bag over the next few [days]. I still think they need someone in the middle of the park.”
Asked if Sancho and Varane can lead United to the title, he said: “My gut feeling is no, they won’t have the same impact as Van Dijk and Alisson to get United up to that 90-95 points that will be needed to win the league. I think they will still be short.
“I’m struggling to understand why United aren’t going that extra step in this transfer window. Sancho was £70m but that was last year’s money. In regards to United, they have always gone after the best English or British player in the Premier League, historically.
“I think if Kane went to United, they could get up to 90-95 points. They still need to replace Cavani and Martial next summer. Martial isn’t going to do it, Cavani only has one-year left.
“They’re going to have to buy a centre-forward at some point, why not get the man now and give Ole the impetus he needs to get to that points total. I don’t think he can with just Sancho and Varane.”
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