David Moyes sacked: Manchester United manager paid for failure in transfer market
David Moyes paid for Manchester United's failures this season with his job - but it was his failings in the transfer market that led to so many of his problems.
The former Everton manager managed to spend over £60m during his short time in charge, but accrued just two players with the huge layout and neither boosted his cause.
Having known he was due to replace Sir Alex Ferguson for some time before his appointment was announced, and with the advice of his predecessor on hand, working out where Manchester United needed reinforcements should not have been difficult.
Yet it seemed United were slow to make moves in the transfer market and when they did they failed on a consistent basis to land their targets.
United's most coveted midfield targets last summer were Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas who went to Bayern Munich and stayed at Barcelona respectively. Others that United should arguably have moved for, the likes of Willian, Christian Erikson and Mesut Ozil, all signed for United's Premier League rivals.
The only midfielder that did arrive in the summer was Marouance Fellaini - a player that appears to have damaged rather than helped Moyes in his time at Old Trafford. Having hoped to sign the Belgian in a double deal with Leighton Baines, United stalled on the deal and it took a last ditch bid of £28m to land him. It seemed an inflated price and it was embarrassing for United when it emerged they could have signed him for £4m less due to a clause in his contract if they had moved earlier.
Fellaini has looked out of place at Old Trafford since his arrival and is yet to even score a goal for his new club.
Moyes' only other signing came in January when Juan Mata arrived for a club record fee of £37.1m. United hailed the deal as a sign United were heading back in the right direction after a difficult first half to the season. Yet it has always seemed strange that Jose Mourinho sanctioned the sale of the Spaniard who was twice voted Chelsea's player of the season.
That Mata has class is in no doubt, but how he fits into Manchester United's system is less than clear. With more than enough players already wanting to 'occupy the hole', some have questioned whether Mata was really what United needed.
It is widely understood the Glazers are prepared to make a huge sum of money, possibly as much as £200m, available this summer so that things can be put right. Moyes' track record in the transfer market in his short time at Old Trafford has not been good - trusting him with even more money was perhaps too big a risk to take.
Belfast Telegraph Digital