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Football | Thursday, August 3, 2023 8:51 AM

Mikael Silvestre gives his analysis of Manchester United’s transfer window

Mikael Silvestre gives his analysis of Manchester United’s transfer window
IMAGO / ZUMA Wire Andro Onana of Manchester United, ManU during a match against Real Madrid in a friendly match at the NRG Arena in Houston

Manchester United’s three summer signings are assessed by bettingexpert ambassador Mikael Silvestre ahead of the new season as it draws ever so close.

In this Article:

Højlund needs time to adapt

Manchester United is almost certain to confirm the signing of Danish international Rasmus Winther Højlund from Serie A side Atalanta for a whopping £72m. The talented forward is set to seal a five-year deal with the club. Last season, Højlund notched up nine goals and four assists in 32 Serie A games.

The fee for Højlund has sparked debate, primarily due to his age and the number of goals he scored last season. Silvestre, however, remains undeterred by the fee but urges caution, considering Højlund’s age and the challenge of adapting to a new league.

“The fee is what it is when you go for a number nine right now at the highest level. Then you’re going to pay big bucks.”

“It’s all about how well the player will adapt and deliver, you know. After that, you won’t be talking about how much you paid.”

“He is a player that will need time before he scores 20 or 25 goals in the Premier League. He will have to adjust to the Premier League and get to know his teammates.”

“The pre-season is pretty much over, so he won’t have much time getting to know them. He will go straight away into the competition.”

“For those reasons, he will need time, but he is only 20 years old, so he has enough time to adapt.”

Silvestre excited at the prospect of Højlund linking up with Rashford

United have been in search of a new number nine since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in January. United have been linked with moves for the likes of Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

However, ten Hag has settled on Hojlund after a search that has been long drawn out. Silvestre is excited at the prospect of Hojlund linking up with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen once he’s settled into Erik ten Hag’s system.

“There weren’t many options on the market, and I think he will do well with the group of players he has around him and how they are playing.”

“Also, with the way Erik ten Hag wants to play with the link-up play starting with Bruno Fernandes, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen.”

“They will find a way to feed him, also with the wingers, and I think he will link up quite well with Marcus Rashford, who will serve him quite well.”

“But he can also do some damage on his own. He is very fast, and he can beat players one on one.”

“It’s just a matter of time for him. We have to be patient with him. The good thing is that he can speak English and not be afraid of the Manchester weather when he is from Denmark.”

Onana can handle the pressure of replacing de Gea

Manchester United’s second summer signing replaced their long-term goalkeeper, David de Gea, with Cameroonian shot-stopper Andre Onana. It is a significant responsibility for Onana, considering de Gea’s decade-long tenure as the starting goalkeeper for Man Utd.

During the pre-season, Onana has already showcased his confidence and character, evident in his clash with former Captain Harry Maguire.

Additionally, his impressive performance in the Champions League final has left Silvestre with great confidence in Onana’s talent and ability to handle the immense pressure at the highest level. United seems to have secured a promising goalkeeper to step into de Gea’s shoes.

“Andre Onana can’t make a mistake, and that’s where the pressure will be on him. If a goalkeeper makes one mistake, they put their team in danger.”

“The thing with David De Gea is that he made more mistakes in the end than he did when he joined.”

“His role will be to settle the defence and give more confidence to the entire team. That’s his number one job.”

“He is very good with the distribution, and he can serve the attackers quite well on the counter attacks as well.”

“I’m expecting a lot from him, and he is reaching his peak right now. He is going to be ready from the beginning.”

“The pressure on him will be the same as when he played for Inter. It’s a big club. I was attending the Champions League final, and I don’t think he will feel the pressure that much.”

Mount offers ten Hag strength in depth

Another significant addition is the signing of midfielder Mason Mount for a reported £55m from rivals Chelsea. Mount had a year left on his deal, and ten Hag swooped in to secure the services of the Cobham academy graduate.

Silvestre believes Mount will strengthen in-depth for ten Hag in the midfield department as well as provide Fernandes with any opportunity to rest more often than he has in previous seasons.

“Man United’s team needed to be strengthened in that area of the pitch; that’s why they brought in Mason Mount.”

“Bruno Fernandes has been performing excellently, and he has a lot of quality. But he played a lot of games, and he needs to be rested sometimes.”

“You can’t be at full strength for 60 games. So, having someone like Mason Mount will be beneficial for both Bruno and the team.”

“Mason Mount’s style will suit Man United very well, and he will be a reinforcement for their midfield.”


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