EPL

Rangnick outlines transfer strategy as Man Utd boss warns against unrealistic expectations

By Sports Desk December 04, 2021

Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United should focus on signing younger players as the interim Red Devils manager outlined his transfer strategy.

Rangnick will take charge of his first match when United welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford in Premier League action on Sunday.

The 63-year-old has been appointed until the end of the season, with former RB Leipzig boss Rangnick set to move into a consultancy role until 204.

Rangnick has earned a reputation for identifying young talent during his work with Red Bull-owned clubs Leipzig and Salzburg and as the January window approaches, he provided an insight into how he operates.

"One does not exclude the other. The team has, with Mason [Greenwood] and Marcus [Rashford], two players who are homegrown and have come from the youth ranks," said Rangnick after United signing 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and 28-year-old Raphael Varane ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, having also lured Jadon Sancho, 21, to Manchester.

"It's about recruitment but also at a club like Man United, with a top academy, we should make sure that every year we have one or two players who are good enough to make it into the first team.

"On the other hand, with signing players for transfer fees, it's a question of what you want. If you pay big money for a 30-year-old and he's still good enough to make you successful, I don't mind that.

"But you have to be aware the money you invest is only being invested in the potential success over the next two or three years, you won't get any return.

"This is where I always think it always makes more sense to sign a player at 21 or 22 and if you then have to pay a big fee, at least you have the chance to develop him into a player who is worth even more."

At Leipzig, after spells with the likes of Hoffenheim, Hannover and Schalke, Rangnick – known for his high pressing – took charge of the team in two different spells, having initially joined parent company Red Bull as director of football in 2012.

Under Rangnick's leadership, Leipzig had gone from the regional league to Champions League qualification by 2017.

Rangnick – who will become only the sixth German to manage in the Premier League – was promoted to the head of sport and development for Red Bull in 2019, before eventually joining Lokomotiv Moscow earlier this year.

Rangnick has never managed outside of his native Germany, taking charge of five different teams in the German Bundesliga in his career. The last side he managed was Leipzig, winning promotion with them from 2.Bundesliga in 2015-16 before returning to the club for the 2018-19 top-flight season and leading them to third place.

Across 294 Bundesliga matches, Rangnick has a winning percentage of 41. He first took charge in the top flight in May 1999 at Stuttgart, losing 2-0 to Bayern Munich, while his last game in charge in the competition came 20 years later in May 2019 at Leipzig, a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen.

His best top-flight finish as a coach is second, achieved in 2004-05 with Schalke, a side he took over mid-season and led to a runners-up position and also to the final of that season's DFB-Pokal, ultimately losing 2-1 to Bayern.

Compared to countryman and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp due to their high-octane brand of football, Rangnick addressed the comparisons.

"Well my football is definitely not a slow waltz!," said Rangnick, whose United have already been linked with Leipzig pair Christopher Nkunku and Amadou Haidara. "I am not that far apart from Jurgen in terms of our ideas about a style of football. That’s no secret.

"But you have to be aware of what kind of players you have and where they stand. I cannot ask things of them that they can’t deliver right now.

"I have to take them and accept where they currently are. They are experienced and smart enough to know that. I cannot turn the players we have into the pressing monsters I want them to be within two, three or four weeks.

"The same happened to Jurgen when he came in the middle of the season and they finished eighth or ninth. Liverpool had a lot of injuries in that time - muscle injuries - because they were not used to that kind of training. So we have to be smart."

United are seventh in the Premier League standings and 14 points adrift of leaders and defending champions Manchester City.

The Red Devils have conceded in 15 consecutive home games in all competitions, their second-longest ever such run, after a 21-game streak ending in March 1959.

Rangnick added: "I am more than optimistic, but I also have to be realistic. Five weeks ago, our team lost 5-0 against Liverpool - and it could have been a lot more if we are honest.

"Against City it was 2-0 - but it could also have been more. It was important to win the point at Chelsea but the performance? I don't know. They had 24 shots on goal and we had three.

"So right now, to say I will challenge the top Premier League managers in the next few weeks or months, is not realistic. Right now my focus is on Crystal Palace and then on Young Boys, then Norwich, then Brighton and Hove Albion and then Brentford.

"The games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City will be in March and April - and that’s when I will answer the question about challenging them."

Related items

  • Juventus 4-1 Sampdoria: Bianconeri make strong start to Coppa Italia defence Juventus 4-1 Sampdoria: Bianconeri make strong start to Coppa Italia defence

    Juventus launched their Coppa Italia title defence with a commanding 4-1 victory over Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium.

    A free-kick from Juan Cuadrado gave the reigning champions a 25th-minute lead, while Daniele Rugani's first Bianconeri goal in almost three years doubled the advantage after the break.

    Andrea Conti replied for Sampdoria, whose fortunes were overseen by Felice Tufano following the sacking of coach Roberto D’Aversa on Monday.

    But substitute Paulo Dybala put the hosts back in control, before Alvaro Morata's penalty sealed their place in the quarter-finals.

     

    Juventus had won eight of their nine previous Coppa Italia meetings with Sampdoria, while they had not been eliminated from this stage of the competition since 2005.

    The Bianconeri made a strong start as Cuadrado tested Wladimiro Falcone with a fierce drive, but soon after there was no denying the Colombian, who drilled a low free-kick into the far corner.

    Juve thought they had doubled their lead when Morata swept home within 60 seconds of the restart. But the Spain international was denied by VAR after Adrien Rabiot was adjudged to have fouled Tomas Rincon in the build-up.

    The second goal arrived seven minutes after the interval; Rugani, who last found the net for Juventus in February 2019, climbed to nod home Arthur’s inviting cross.

    Despite a turbulent build-up that included the departure of D’Aversa, Sampdoria responded in the 63rd minute. Unmarked at the far post, Conti was allowed too much time to control before drilling past Mattia Perin.

    However, their hard work was undone almost immediately as they were robbed of possession outside the penalty box, with Dybala gratefully sweeping home.

    Morata then put the icing on the cake from the penalty spot after Marley was brought down by Tommaso Augello.

  • Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Chelsea: Tuchel's worst winless run continues Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Chelsea: Tuchel's worst winless run continues

    Chelsea's worst winless Premier League run under Thomas Tuchel was extended to four games as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday. 

    Tuchel's side missed a chance to quickly close the gap to leaders Manchester City, who beat the European champions 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to go 13 points clear. 

    Hakim Ziyech put the Blues ahead in the first half at the Amex Stadium, but Brighton restored parity through an unmarked Adam Webster in the 60th minute. 

    Chelsea were unable to bring an end to their worst top-flight run under Tuchel by finding a winner, with Brighton earning an impressive point. 

    Brighton started positively and pressed Chelsea well, but Danny Welbeck spurned their best opportunity when he failed to connect with the ball in the six-yard box. 

    However, Chelsea took the lead in the 28th minute when a speculative Ziyech effort got the better of Robert Sanchez and found the bottom-right corner.

    The Seagulls made a strong start to the second period and drew level on the hour mark when Webster powered a header home from Alexis Mac Allister's corner. 

    Romelu Lukaku made a brilliant dart in behind to latch onto Antonio Rudiger's lofted throughball but was thwarted by the onrushing Sanchez, with the Blues having to settle for a draw.

    What does it mean? Still concern for Tuchel 

    After a run of three wins in nine games in all competitions across December and January, Chelsea looked to have got back on track by beating Tottenham in the EFL Cup semi-finals and thrashing Chesterfield in the FA Cup. 

    However, on the south coast they were unable to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat at City, which effectively brought an end to any faint title hopes they may have had. 

    Lacklustre Lukaku 

    Tuchel has been frustrated by the performances of Chelsea's attackers this season and Lukaku did little to appease him here. Although he supplied two key passes, he had just eight touches in the first half and only managed one shot on target in the whole game. 

    Webster unwatched 

    Webster was allowed to steam in completely unmarked from the back post and send a bullet header past Kepa Arrizabalaga for the equaliser. Tuchel's men showed a lack of awareness when defending the set-piece. 

    What's next? 

    Chelsea will welcome their former coach Antonio Conte back to Stamford Bridge when they face Tottenham on Sunday, when Brighton travel to Leicester City. 

  • Simeone on struggling Suarez: 'I have spoken to him for two months' Simeone on struggling Suarez: 'I have spoken to him for two months'

    Diego Simeone has opened up about conversations with Luis Suarez as Atletico Madrid attempt to get the former Barcelona striker back to form.

    The Uruguay international is Atletico's top scorer in all competitions this season, albeit with just nine goals from 27 appearances.

    The 34-year-old, whose contract at Wanda Metropolitano expires at the end of the campaign, has only found the net once in his last 11 club matches.

    Suarez's frustration was evident when he was substituted during last month's defeat at Sevilla, with the former Liverpool striker appearing to direct expletives towards coach Simeone.

    With the striker's sharp shooting deserting him and his future uncertain, the Atleti boss said there have been discussions between the pair in recent times.

    Ahead of Atletico's Copa del Rey clash with Real Sociedad on Wednesday, Simeone said: "We have spoken with Luis for two months about what I think of him, of how important he is for us.

    "What I think of him, he knows it and I didn't speak to him after Sevilla, I have spoken to him for two months."

     

    Suarez has scored 30 goals across all competitions since his September 2020 transfer from Barcelona – more than any other Atletico team-mate. Karim Benzema (54) and Gerard Moreno (41) are the only players currently based in Spain to have scored more often during that time.

    Additionally, only Messi (231) betters Suarez's tally of 175 LaLiga goals since the Uruguayan joined Barcelona from Liverpool in July 2014.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.