’s surprise pursuit of Marko Arnautovic has been mocked by football pundit Chris Sutton.
The Red Devils have been strongly linked with the Austria international forward in recent days, and the clamour for new arrivals has been heightened by their inept home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
Similar problems beset United despite new boss Erik ten Hag taking charge of his first competitive fixture since joining from earlier this summer, with an insipid attack, feeble midfield and incompetent defence gifting the away side their first ever victory at Old Trafford.
New signing Christian Eriksen began the match as a false nine in the centre of the frontline, while wantaway star began the match on the bench, but the only goal United managed to score was when Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister put through his own net.
‘[Ten Hag’s] use of Christian Eriksen as a false nine didn’t work, but this club’s problems run much deeper than one misguided tactical decision,’ Sutton wrote in his column.
With Ronaldo having made clear his desire to leave the club before the end of the transfer window and Anthony Martial injured, Eriksen’s selection as an unorthodox striker laid bare United’s lack of depth in the position.
They have subsequently approach Arnautovic’s club Bologna about a potential deal for the 33-year-old who formerly played in the Premier League for Stoke City and West Ham United between 2013 and 2019, with Ten Hag having worked with the player in the early days of his playing career when both were at FC Twente in the Netherlands.
The move for Arnautovic, who has never consistently played any higher than midtable in a major European league, has only ever scored a season high of 15 goals, and who has been accused of racism and xenophobia in multiple instances during his career, has largely bemused United fans, journalists and pundits.
‘The fact they are being linked with Marko Arnautovic says it all, Sutton added. ‘I thought it was a spoof when I first heard it! That’s a PR disaster waiting to happen. United don’t help themselves and that opening-game defeat by Potter’s Brighton was all too predictable.’
United’s Premier League season continues with a trip to Brentford on Saturday evening.
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