In pictures: Man Utd v Young Boys
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Manchester United’s transfer strategy might have been evidenced in Ralf Rangnick’s team selection ahead of their Champions League draw with Young Boys on Wednesday night. The Red Devils drew 1-1 with the Swiss side after Rangnick took the opportunity to rotate his squad.
The 63-year-old will have been pleased to catch a glimpse of some of his fringe players.
Rangnick was also able to hand minutes to some of the club’s young stars. Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal were given their senior debuts.
The 19-year-old defender Teden Mengi and teen attackers Anthony Elanga and Shola Shoretire were presented with further opportunities to impress after playing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And Rangnick’s use of the club’s youngsters is likely to point towards how the German will approach the transfer window.
At RB Leipzig, the tactician imposed a ban on signing players above a certain age, according to the Independent. Instead, he attempted to develop younger players who could fit into his energetic, high-pressing style.
Express Sport looks at who United might have missed out on had an age restriction on arrivals been a rule under previous managers.
Ronaldo sensationally returned to Old Trafford in the summer after 12 years away.
The legendary forward was signed in a £20million deal from Juventus after requesting to leave the Serie A side.
It is not entirely clear at which age Rangnick could cut off signings but you have to assume that 36-year-old Ronaldo would miss out.
Of course, the former Schalke boss might have made an exception for such a club legend.
However, given that the Portuguese doesn’t exactly fit seamlessly into Rangnick’s all-encompassing style, he might at least have tried to veto Ronaldo’s arrival.
Fellow summer arrival Tom Heaton might also have missed out on a return to the 20-times English champions.
In the summer of 2020, United were desperate for a clinical finisher once it became clear that Harry Kane would not be allowed to leave Tottenham.
They eventually signed Cavani on a free transfer following his release by Paris Saint Germain.
But the Uruguayan might not have joined United had Rangnick been in charge.
Rangnick did not sign anyone over the age of 30 during his two spells as head coach of Leipzig. That would rule Cavani out of a transfer.
The 34-year-old has gone on to score 18 goals in 47 appearances at the club. However, Ronaldo’s arrival has limited his minutes and forced him to relinquish his No. 7 shirt.
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United have enjoyed signing ageing centre-forwards to paper over cracks.
But that will not happen much longer if Rangnick remains at Old Trafford in the long term.
Ibrahimovic was signed during Jose Mourinho’s first summer window in 2016 and spent two years at the club.
The Swede enjoyed an incredible first term, scoring 28 goals in 48 appearances. However, he suffered a devastating ACL injury and missed several months of the next campaign.
He made just seven more appearances before leaving for LA Galaxy in January 2018.
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