Man United: Red Devils rejected ‘world-class’ star for £4m, now he’s worth £215m
Manchester United have made a long list of disastrous transfer dealings since Sir Alex Ferguson departed the club in 2013, spending over 1.4bn without coming close to winning a Premier League title.
That list of failed signings severely outweighs the ones who have gone on to have success at the club as the likes of Radamel Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, Morgan Schneiderlin and Donny van de Beek are four of many players who have epitomized the downward spiral United have endured in the past decade.
Aside from splashing a war chest of funds on players who have ultimately failed at Old Trafford, United’s demise can also be put down to their addiction to missing out on world-class players, including Sergio Ramos in 2015, Antoine Griezmann in 2017 and Paulo Dybala in 2019.
Despite putting previous disappointment behind them with the quality additions of Andre Onana, Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount and Rasmus Hojlund this summer, the Red Devils are still taunted by their poor decision-making and there’s one player who they chose not to sign in 2018 who will continue to haunt them for years to come.
Did Man United nearly sign Erling Haaland?
According to the Athletic, United missed out on the chance to sign the sensational Erling Haaland in 2018 with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer criticizing the club for not pouncing at the opportunity to sign him.
Having managed him during his time at Molde, Solskjaer knew of the freak talents that Haaland possessed and for that reason, was desperate to sign him.
Instead, the club ignored the Norwegian’s advice and the 23-year-old has gone on to make them pay for questioning his judgement, becoming the best striker in the world since joining Manchester City in 2022, with his goals helping Pep Guardiola’s side achieve a magnificent treble-winning campaign last term.
Speaking at “An Evening with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Event”, as reported by the Athletic, he said United had the chance to sign Haaland for £4m but chose not to take up that offer.
Solskjaer said: “I got in contact with United because we had this talented striker who they should have had,
“But they didn’t listen, unfortunately. Four million, I asked for. But they never signed him. Four million! Don’t ask [where he is now]. He’s too good …”
With United ruing their chance to sign the Norwegian machine for such a measly sum, it’s their Manchester rivals who have since become the beneficiary of their misjudgement as Haaland is now worth a rather staggering £215m, as per Football Observatory.
How many goals has Erling Haaland scored for Man City?
Since Man City activated his £51.2m release clause in July 2022, Haaland has gone on to become the most prolific striker in world football.
The “astonishing” Haaland, as lauded by Rio Ferdinand after he scored an incredible five goals against RB Leipzig in the Champions League last season, has produced an astonishing number of goal contributions at the Etihad.
In 59 games in all competitions, the £375k per-week machine has chalked up an eye-watering 58 goals and produced 11 assists, breaking the record of most Premier League strikes in one season with 36 and starting this campaign in a similarly rich vein of form.
While many anticipated a drop-off in his freakish goal-scoring levels, the “world-class” Haaland – as he was dubbed by Leipzig boss Marco Rose – is threatening to usurp his previous totals having started this campaign with six goals in his first four matches – including the fifth hat-trick of his Premier League career in a 5-1 victory over Fulham.
Speaking after this resounding win, City’s assistant manager Juan Manuel Lillo heaped praise on Haaland by saying: “This guy was born scoring goals and he will go through his whole life scoring goals, so it will be no surprise if he manages to get the same figures as last season. But it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t.”
Man United have missed out on several world-class players through their hesitant decision-making in the transfer window, but there is no doubt that their choice to ignore Haaland is the worst decision they’ve made and one they will live to regret as he continues to fire their rivals to silverware.