Paul Ince Criticises Manchester United for Not Signing Erling Haaland

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - MARCH 07: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund at Borussia-Park on March 7, 2020 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Paul Ince has said Manchester United let striking sensation Erling Haaland "slip through the net" before he joined Borussia Dortmund

According to Charlotte Duncker of Goal, Ince said the Red Devils' failure to land the Norwegian striker in January from Red Bull Salzburg was "disappointing" because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a prolific goalscorer in his squad:

"If they want to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool then they need a world-class striker.

"They had the chance with Haaland, the young kid who went to Dortmund, that was sad really. He is a very, very good young player who can improve and you can’t let people like that slip through the net.

"That was disappointing that they couldn’t get him. They have got to have someone in who gets 20-25 goals a season."

Solskjaer has an existing relationship with Haaland, with the 19-year-old featuring under the United boss at Molde.

However, United opted to not trigger the prodigy's €20 million (£17.7 million) release clause, per Duncker, and Haaland signed with Dortmund over the winter.

Bernd Thissen/Associated Press

The Norway international has exceeded all expectations during his opening months in Germany. The teenager has netted 11 goals in just 10 BVB appearances in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League.

Solskjaer decided to stand by Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood as his forwards and introduced the mercurial Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in January.

Ince added he thinks Solskjaer will continue the overhaul of his squad in the summer, with United still significantly behind the Premier League's top sides:

"I think you have to get the right balance. You can’t always go too young. You need a right balance of experience and youth and there is still a long way to go to match Manchester City and Liverpool.

"They are going in the right direction and the quicker they bring in those players then the quicker that is achieved."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester United at Goodison Park on March 01, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of top-flight football across Europe, United were displaying scintillating form with Fernandes at the heart of the action.

The Portuguese international has added a spark of genius to the team, providing essential leadership for Solskjaer's young guns.

United remain three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the league, and they'll want to quickly chase down the Blues before the season concludes.

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