Manchester United finally signed Jadon Sancho in July 2021 after two long transfer sagas. The England international has struggled to live up to the hype at Old Trafford, begging the question – would they have been better off signing somebody else?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly identified four potential alternatives to Sancho, according to a report in FourFourTwo in September 2020. In the end, United remained patient and eventually got their man for a reported fee of £73million the following summer.
We’ve taken a look back at the four players United identified and seen how they’ve fared in the four years since.
Watford signed the Senegalese winger for a fee believed to be in the region of £30million back in 2019 – and he remains their club-record signing.
Sarr has since provided us with some dazzling moments as the Hornets have flitted between the top two tiers over the course of his four years in England.
Despite frequently being linked with a move away, Sarr remains at Vicarage Road as they gear up for another season in the Championship.
But he’s approaching the final year of his contract with Watford and this summer might finally be the one in which he moves on.
Interest appears to have cooled from the European elite, but you imagine that Premier League clubs will be making enquiries.
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A gossip column stalwart, United were most closely linked with Coman in the months after his match-winning goal in the 2020 Champions League final.
The France international has once again been tipped to be among United’s top targets if this summer’s mooted takeover eventually goes through, but we’d take those reports with a pinch of salt.
If nothing else, signing the 27-year-old would represent a tremendous good luck charm. Coman maintained his astonishing 100% record of league title wins last season despite Bayern Munich being absolutely rubbish. He registered a goal or an assist every 109 minutes in the Bundesliga last term.
Perisic eventually got his Premier League move last summer, reuniting with Antonio Conte. Having played a key role in Inter’s Scudetto of 2020-21, there was hope that the veteran Croatian would be an FPL must-have while providing the mix of experience and quality that’s ideal for a Conte wingback.
The 34-year-old had one or two moments but his arrival didn’t quite transform Tottenham into contenders. Quite the opposite, in fact, as Spurs finished eighth and failed to qualify for European competition entirely.
The Brazilian winger won no fewer than 10 league titles during his time in Europe representing perennial winners Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Costa did end up moving away from Juventus in October 2020, following the Covid-extended summer window. He rejoined Bayern on a season-long loan but featured on the fringes, making just three starts as the Bavarians claimed yet another Bundesliga title that year.
He was only 30 at the time but evidently on the downslope of his career. A loan to back to Brazil with Gremio followed and nowadays he’s turning out in MLS for LA Galaxy.