Manchester United may not have had the transfer window that many fans expected, having to rely on a few significant arrivals rather than the necessary makeover.
Erik ten Hag has had a difficult start to the season, with the club winning two tight Premier League games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest, but losing to Tottenham Hotspur in between.
With the arrival of Sofyan Amrabat to boost his midfield, could the Dutchman have been a little more adventurous in his transfer business?
What will Sofyan Amrabat bring to Manchester United?
Last season, the Moroccan midfielder helped Fiorentina to the Europa Conference League final, and he also shined for his country at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, helping Morocco become the first African team to reach the competition’s semi-finals.
In Qatar, Amrabat led the team in accurate passes per game (38.3) while also placing third in tackles per game (2.3) and seventh in interceptions per game (0.9), demonstrating his ability on the international stage.
These performances may have given Ten Hag an idea of how effective he could be had he made a more concerted effort to get someone who has already thrived in the Premier League – Joao Palhinha.
How talented is Joao Palhinha?
United had expressed interest in signing the Portuguese midfielder from Fulham prior to the summer transfer season; however, a deal did not materialize, and he ended up nearly joining Bayern Munich in a £55 million deal, only for the agreement to fall through late on deadline day.
In reality, this is a squandered chance for the Red Devils, especially given how impressive Palhinha has been since joining Fulham last summer.
Last season in the top division, the 28-year-old demonstrated his prowess in gaining the ball back by making 147 tackles, the most in the league, with Moises Caicedo coming in second with 100, demonstrating how excellent Palhinha was.
He was also dubbed a “tackling machine” by teammate Harrison Reed, garnering acclaim from his teammates for his performances in his first season in England.