Manchester United – Transfer Window Ranking: January 2022/23

Manchester United – Transfer Window Ranking: January 2022/23

Manchester United have had a pretty modest yet fruitful January window bringing in much-needed reinforcements in areas that required addressing and at a low cost.

With a bunch of loan deals for positions that needed immediate cover, the Red Devils have bought some time to plan for the summer window without compromising on the competitiveness of the team on the pitch. Here’s an analysis of United’s winter incomings in the January 2023 window.

Wout Weghorst – (Loan) €2.96m

Weghorst was the answer that Ten Hag posed to the rescinding of Ronaldo’s contract. The 30-year-old 197cm tall giant is coming in on loan from Besiktas (proceeds to check notes) No, not from Besiktas, He’s on loan from Burnley!

It’s even weirder to consider that he is indeed CR7’s replacement. After Ronaldo went from Manchester to Riyadh, it left the door open for Weghorst who was only happier than ever to join the Red Devils.

Wout Weghorst’s Wagon Wheel Stats of 2022-23 as compared to Forwards in the Top 5 European Leagues

Weghorst’s playing style & characteristics are rather familiar, after having watched him lead the line for the Netherlands at the World Cup in Qatar. He just works and works and never stops, indicated by his recoveries, blocks, tackles & interceptions despite being an out & out centre-forward.

He’s not the traditional tall & physically solid target man that you put up front just to deliver crosses into; he’s more than that—especially with his off-ball movement.

He’s a pretty tidy finisher and a player who can hold up play and add dynamism and combine with United’s off-the-ball runners. His trademark no. 9 runs in behind the opposition’s defensive lines could help United unlock stubborn defenses considering the playmakers they have in their squad.

Needless to say, Weghorst is also dangerous in the air.

A few drawbacks to his game would be his passing and shooting range. He needs players near him to link up with and shoots exponentially better from shorter distances. He’s not the quickest off the blocks nor someone who can carry the ball through presses with dribbles.

However, he’s an extremely proficient finisher inside the box.

Overall, it’s a pretty good bit of business from United who will be looking for a big-name striker in the summer.

Weghorst fits in well and adds a useful outlet for United up front as the focal point of their attack, which is an area where the Old Trafford outfit have struggled this season apart from Rashford’s blistering form, of course.

In all, it’s a great transfer in terms of value considering the money spent, and the quality obtained.

Marcel Sabitzer – (Loan) 

United’s issues in midfield were obvious since the start of the season. The arrival of Casemiro changed the situation & he slotted right into the starting XI. However, the quality of their depth in midfield was a point of concern.

The Austrian international Sabitzer comes in from Bayern Munich on loan till the end of the season as a pretty good option for a stop-gap fix till the summer until Ten Hag dips into the market again.

The 28-year-old is still in his better years & although he has struggled for minutes in the last 2 seasons, his quality is largely apparent. Having played in a variety of positions throughout his career, Sabitzer comes in with vast amounts of experience.

Marcel Sabitzer’s Wagon Wheel Stats 2020-21

His profile is very similar to that of Cristian Eriksen, whose injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for United.

An expert in long-range shooting, Sabitzer can be classified as a dynamic midfielder who can play as an attacking ‘8’. It is also important to note that he may not be an ideal replacement for Casemiro even though he has played in the holding role before.

Sabitzer is a better volume passer and consistently accurate in his passing. He’s great at distribution, progression & creating from midfield although he does struggle to carry the ball out of the press. He also ranks high in terms of goals, xG & SoT in the Bundesliga as compared to other midfielders in the German league.

However, he is a bit suspect in defending transitions. But that being said, his time at RB Leipzig has molded him into a good presser of the ball.

Stylistically, he should be a good fit for the Eriksen role which was a glaring issue for United considering the Danish midfielder’s recent injury. Marcel Sabitzer may not be precisely what Eriksen offers but he was one of the better options that were there to be pursued in the window, given how the market tends to be in the winter.

Overall, it’s a shrewd bit of business done by United as they had to act quickly following Christian Eriksen’s knock.

Jack Butland – (Loan)

While this was not a star signing, it was an important one nevertheless. With Newcastle recalling Martin Dubravka, United were left without a top-class backup keeper and no competition at all for David De Gea. 

Butland has not had a long run in playing time for a while now, but his talent is undeniable. He’s a good acquisition for Manchester United, good enough to keep in goal & don the gloves on those rather undervalued Cup ties, and he can be called into action if De Gea ever needs a rest or gets injured.

Jack Butland may not be the flashiest of signings but it’s an integral one for maintaining squad depth and also provides healthy competition in the squad for the goalkeeper position.


Total Amount Spent: €2.96m

Number of Players Brought in: 3

Manchester United did pretty well during the winter window. Especially not splashing as much as they have been accused of doing over the years; the Red Devils played their cards rather smartly this time, although slightly compromising in the quality brought in as compared to other Premier League clubs.

Signing loan deals has bought them time & has filled the gaps in their squad. However, the real deals must come in the summer, if United expect to grow under Erik ten Hag.

Grade: B

Also read: Arsenal – Transfer Window Ranking: January 2022/23

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