However, the lack of transfer business at Old Trafford shouldn’t be all that surprising under Moyes, a manager who has always been more about quality than quantity when it comes to new recruits.
Last season, United won the Premier League at a canter, albeit sacrificing a portion of their mettle on the European stage.
The next step for the club is to rebuild that Champions League presence that seems to have simmered in recent seasons.
In total, the Red Devils completed three purchases this summer. As the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton states, the £27.5 million deal for Marouane Fellaini came on top of a £700,000 agreement for FC Zurich’s Saidy Janko as well as the move for Uruguayan Guillermo Varela earlier this summer.
As has been discussed for some time, Manchester United’s greatest need was a central presence, a player capable of playing a box-to-box role in the side’s engine room and doing some more of the defensive graft.
In that sense, Moyes has delivered, although given their late interest in Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Athletic Club’s Ander Herrera, per Sid Lowe on talkSPORT, there could be more to come in January.
As Jeremy Wilson suggested on Twitter, there was also a failed attempt on Mesut Ozil:
Of course, the counterpoint to Moyes having all these other supposedly failed bids—including others on Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas—is that Fellaini was nothing more than a reliable backup.
That being the case, there's no reason why Moyes' former Everton charge is to be considered any less of a promising alternative just because of the relationship he holds with the man he's now linked back up with.
For example, if it were Jose Mourinho who took over at Old Trafford this summer, would that make Fellaini any less of a desirable target? The biggest reason one might look down at the signing is simply because he was looked at as something of a given for United. The one player they'd probably get, but not the superstar everyone necessarily wanted.
The past few years have been dynamic ones at Old Trafford, with many a change to the starting XI making it somewhat surprising that the club has managed to keep competing for so many titles.
With the likes of Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, David De Gea, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie and numerous other faces having to adapt to new responsibilities at the club, it’s safe to say the past three years have taken some transition.
Therefore, with some aspects of the squad still merging together, a heap of other arrivals isn’t necessarily the way forward at the Theatre of Dreams.
Of course, more money splurged makes for bigger drama and happier fans a large amount of the time, but Moyes’ penny-pinching and unwillingness to flippantly spend is a positive thing.
In the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, it would be simple for a new manager to attempt a purchase on everything in sight, paying little mind to the notion that there must be value in the market in order to buy, a philosophy Ferguson always encouraged.
Instead, Moyes sees the value in the crop of players he already has, a team that just came off the back of yet another title-winning season and will continue to challenge for silverware this time around.