Manchester United have been told they are wasting their money signing £73m Jadon Sancho – and should have instead used the cash to sign an England teammate who would have added necessary steel to their midfield.
United finally announced a deal in principle for the Borussia Dortmund star earlier this month. The news ended a transfer search spanning over a year, but the Red Devils feel confident he will be worth it. Despite costing £73million, Sancho has earned a reputation in the Bundesliga as an explosive attacker offering goals and assists.
What’s more, at 21, he could offer 10 or more years of service, potentially getting better all the time.
Rio Ferdinand, for one, has spoken of the impact Sancho will have on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
However, the Red Devils are well blessed for forwards. He will be added to a pool that already includes Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Daniel James and Amad Diallo. They also have Edinson Cavani who can operate as a centre forward.
To that end, there has been plenty of speculation that Martial could be shown the door. A surprise loan move is apparently on the cards.
And with their attacking options now swelled, former United defender Paul Parker believes that huge investment on Sancho would be better spent elsewhere.
As such, he says United should have prioritised his England teammate Declan Rice. The West Ham star – consistently linked with United – has underlined his quality at Euro 2020.
And Parker thinks he’s the type of midfielder their side is lacking and should have been their No 1 transfer focus.
“There’s a way of just being that defensive player, but then as well there’s another way of being a midfield player who can break into the attacking third,” Parker told the Daily Express.
“United haven’t got that player, so if they’re going to go into the marketplace you have to look at Declan Rice.
“It’s all about someone young. If you were to go and spend the Sancho money on him, you would have got someone who is proven in the Premier League. Everyone talks about him and knows about him.”
Rice would add craft to United midfield
Parker also feels Rice could prove the difference-maker if United want to wrestle the Premier League title off Manchester City.
“Declan Rice, take the dust off of it, is a box-to-box player,” he added. “You can use that because that’s exactly what it is.
“He’s not just content sitting in there to think he’s doing his job, sideways, square passes and back. He can drop into the back four to give it back to a centre-half then run off and just get your stats up.
“He actually wants to make things happen on the edge of the box. And the bonus is that he’s willing to run back and recover as well if things were to break down.
“He’s not already being there waiting and being an extra person at the back. He’s willing to do both.
“So if you’re going to keep it within the shores, you are not going to get anyone better than him in this moment in time.”