Manchester United are in a tricky situation on the transfer front; the Glazer family are reportedly mulling over ceding their throne – albeit at a price – atop the Theatre of Dreams, consequently throwing the winter transfer plans into jeopardy.
What’s the word?
The uncertainty surrounding the Red Devil hierarchy has had something of a domino effect on the fortunes of the senior outfit, with the club recently missing out on the signing of touted forward Cody Gakpo to rivals Liverpool, who clinched his signature for just £35m.
With funds for transfers possibly unattainable, delving into the loan market to bolster the squad this January might be the way forward for United boss Erik ten Hag, and Alvaro Morata has been distinguished.
According to ESPN, the Dutch manager has been left frustrated by failing to match Liverpool’s financial package for Gakpo, and now will look to clinch the services of Morata in a loan swoop, who is enjoying a steady season with Atletico Madrid.
United’s transfer policy over the past decade or so has left little to be admired, with a multitude of exciting acquisitions falling flat or failing to acclimatise to life at Old Trafford.
The transitional period for the Red Devils has failed to transcend to a cemented path of positivity, and now, under Ten Hag, there finally appears to be an exciting philosophy and a direction that might lead to major honours once again.
A move for Morata could actually be prudent, though the forward has divided opinion throughout his career, playing for prominent outfits Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea – but sometimes failing to live up to the promise.
Having signed for Chelsea in a – then – club-record deal of £70m in 2017, the Spaniard arrived with a weight of expectation, having risen to prominence with Los Blancos the season before, netting 20 goals and providing six assists, winning the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League.
He could not quite find his feet, and only managed 24 goals from 72 appearances with the Blues.
Now, the 30-year-old journeyman is plying his trade with Atletico, and has plundered six goals from 13 starts in the league, also scoring an impressive 30 goals from 61 appearances with Spain over the course of his international career.
Would a Morata loan signing be a good move for MUFC?
Should Ten Hag instigate a winter move, he could replicate United’s previous swoop for Edinson Cavani, who scored 19 goals and seven assists from 59 appearances on English turf, despite his veteran age and utility role.
Both towering, imposing forwards, Cavani and Morata bear a resemblance in that they can hold up the play and allow pacy wide players, such as Marcus Rashford and Antony, to thrive; Morata must emulate his star-studded senior in this regard.
Bridging the gap between Old Trafford and the Champions League, a loan swoop for Morata would be a shrewd and worthwhile endeavour, installing a talismanic force into the fold to do a job and add a dimension to the attack over the latter stage of the campaign.
Once hailed an “assassin” by Rio Ferdinand, a loan move for Morata would kill two birds with one stone, fixing a hole in the armour – for very little cost – and thus readying Old Trafford’s director of football John Murtough for a lunge towards a high-profile frontal target in the summer, when the cogs fall into place.