Sun. Sep 27th, 2020

Man Utd

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Manchester United new kit launch may have shown three transfer aims

3 min read

It was little wonder the word ‘zebra’ was almost trending on Twitter yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Looking at Manchester United’s stark new third kit and it was virtually the only word that sprung to mind.

And, social media being the way it is, it’s fair to say the new-look black and white design has split the crowd. Migraine-inducing for some is innovative and exciting for others; at least one certainty is that United won’t be wearing it against Newcastle any time soon.

But while Adidas designers explained the inspiration behind the bold new shirt was a forgotten friendly between United and Sheffield United in 1910, as the club mark 110 years of playing at Old Trafford, the promotion pictures may have told supporters something far more revealing.

“We think we have redefined the way things can look,” those designers told MEN Sport. “It will divide opinion and accept for many it will be too far. But it will grow on people.”

The other major issue that is dividing opinion at United right now is transfers, and the future of United’s left-back position, amid interest in Real Madrid player Sergio Reguilon. Given that it was previously believed United had shelved plans to recruit a left-back because of Brandon Williams’ stunning emergence from the academy, the recent speculation is something of a surprise.

Reguilon is certainly an impressive player and shone while playing for loan club Sevilla against United in the Europa League semi-final.

All may depend on Luke Shaw’s injury situation; the current first choice left-back missed the end of the season with an ankle problem. But Williams was to the forefront of the new kit promotion snaps and there is no suggestion Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to sideline the promising homegrown product, despite an inconsistent finish to his debut senior campaign.

Like Williams, Paul Pogba was prominent in the shots showing the latest kit. Clearly, the photographs had been taken before the Frenchman was laid low with coronavirus, for which he tested positive before he was due to link up with the France squad last week. Pogba is currently self-isolating but, that apart, everything looks rosy for United and the 27-year-old midfielder right now, amid talk of a new contract and certainly no talk of an exit in this transfer window or the next.

Something else that was notable in the new kit promotion shots was the inclusion of two players linked with departures: Daniel James and Scott McTominay. It has been suggested that James could be loaned out by United if and when Jadon Sancho arrives, while Donny van de Beek’s arrival from Ajax served as fuel to pundits doubting McTominay’s future.

Again, both are key squad players in Solskjaer’s mind, and their presence alongside the usual suspects like Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Pogba suggests as much.

James and McTominay are 22 and 23 respectively and ought to be retained by United, especially given that older players like Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero, Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard are closer to the exit doors.

You cannot imagine any of those players being chosen for the new kit launch. Clubs want their most vital and marketable stars to front such campaigns and it should now be crystal clear how United view Williams, Pogba, James and McTominay. The transfer picture may just have become a little clearer.

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