Manchester United Bundesliga transfer creates new blueprint for future recruitment success – Casey Evans

Manchester United’s transfer strategy has been giving the club trouble for almost a decade. While most will assume the failures are related to United’s signings, sanctioned sales have been just as poor.

United are saddled with a number of players on big contracts who can’t move. Paul Pogba is a prime example of someone whose sale could have generated a hefty fee, while Jesse Lingard looks set to leave on a free transfer despite the club rejecting West Ham’s approach to the England international last summer.

Tellingly, the transfer sale of Daniel James to Leeds United last summer was one of the few examples since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in which the club made a profit on a player.

Something has to change if United are ever to succeed again, and the recently closed transfer window might have shown a step in the right direction.

Dillon Hoogewerf has impressed as part of United’s development teams since joining the club from Ajax in 2019, so it was a surprise to see him move to Borussia Monchengladbach in January.

However, is it really smart business?

Hoogewerf was well behind team-mate Anthony Elanga in the United pecking order, and that’s even before considering senior options like Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

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Therefore, it was unlikely that he would have a chance to impress anytime soon and his development might have suffered.

In similar situations in the past, players have been allowed to let their deals run out before leaving United for free, meaning their careers have likely been affected by not having played regular first-team football and United have missed out on a transfer fee.

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Although United were not actively seeking to sell Hoogewerf, the decision to cut ties represents a step in the right direction, but the structure of the deal is also important.

Multiple clauses have been added to the deal on top of the initial fee, including a selling fee and a clause that would see a fee paid to United if Monchengladbach decided to loan Hoogewerf.

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There’s always a “what if” danger when a talented youngster leaves, but that’s a gamble you take both to keep a player and to move forward.

United’s academy has perhaps been guilty of living in the past and dreaming of talented stars breaking into the first team before conquering the Premier League. It’s time to start thinking rationally and looking at each case individually, and the sale of Hoogewerf could be an indication that United are doing just that.

Are there any Manchester United youth players who you think should get a chance in the first team? Follow our writer United On My Mind Casey Evans on Twitter and Join in the discussion in the comments section below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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