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Club Connections – West Brom

Of course if any fans didn’t know already, Manchester United are scheduled to face West Brom this Sunday in our opening Premier League fixture of the season. With that it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have spent time at United and West Brom in their careers in the game.



Of course if any fans didn’t know already, Manchester United are scheduled to face West Brom this Sunday in our opening Premier League fixture of the season. With that it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have spent time at United and West Brom in their careers in the game.

This will be the first of many ‘Club Connections’ articles which we’re have up on our site throughout the season before every domestic United match.

Arthur Albiston

Joined United as an apprentice in 1972 before making his debut for the club against Manchester City in a League Cup match in 1974. Arthur went onto become a club legend and made 485 appearances in 14 years before moving to West Brom at the age of 31 when he was still perhaps the best left back at Old Trafford.

He was defiantly someone who made the most out of his ability and won three FA Cup’s including the 1977 Final against Liverpool which came in the season when he first broke into the side under Tommy Doherty. Nowadays he is still involved with the club working for MUTV as a pundit/analyst.

Ron Atkinson

After a decent career for Oxford United in the lower divisons, Big Ron quickly proved himself to be a good manager. A successful spell at West Brom saw Ron earn many plaudits and it was no surprise when he took charge at United after Dave Sexton left.

Despite winning the FA Cup twice in three seasons, Ron couldn’t quite manage United to a title and after a disappointing start to the 1986/87 season was replaced by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson and the rest they say is history. Ron later returned to Albion before winning League Cups at Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday at the expense of United in 1991 and 1994.

Ben Foster

A highly talented goalkeeper, Ben is scheduled to make his Albion debut in this weekend’s match. He joined United from Stoke in 2005 and had two successful seasons out on loan at Watford before coming back to Old Trafford ahead of the 2007/08 season.

Sadly a mixture of injuries and having to put up with Edwin Van der Sar’s longevity denied Ben the chance of establishing himself at United and he was sold to Birmingham City last summer. Despite winning a League Cup winners’ medal, Ben was part of a team that got relegated last season and he will hope for better things this season under Roy Hodgson.

Bryan Robson

Already a highly rated young midfielder at West Brom, Bryan joined United early on in Ron Atkinson’s debut season in October 1981 and went onto become one of the club’s most iconic midfielders and captains in 13 wonderful seasons at Old Trafford.

He won six major honours at United and was well and truly a ‘Captain Marvel’ in his time at the club. After leaving in 1994, he went onto have an eventful time in Management at clubs including Middlesbrough and West Brom  in the Premier League. Robbo was last in charge of Thailand’s national team before resigning from that role earlier this year.

Jonathan Greening

After joining United as a talented youngster from York, Jonathan became a steady player in our reserves and had only limited chances to break into our first team. He did though pick up a winner’s medal in United’s Champions League triumph of 1999 but was an unused substitute.

In 2001, he left United joining Middlesbrough as one of Steve McLaren’s first signings and had three successful years up at the Riverside before joining West Brom in 2004. He later become club-captain for the Baggies and enjoyed a successful spell there before joining Fulham two summers ago before joining up with McClaren again at Nottingham Forest this summer.

Nobby Stiles

Arguably one of the real un-sung heroes of United’s history, Nobby went onto become a club legend. A hard-working holding midfielder, Nobby was brave in the tackle and was part of Sir Matt Busby’s legendary side that won the 1968 European Cup at Wembley.

Wembley was a ground that Nobby loved and two years before-hand had been part of England’s World Cup winning squad of 1966 where in the post-match celebrations after the game he famously danced with the trophy. He had a short spell in charge of West Brom in the mid 80’s before returning to United as our youth team coach in 1989 until leaving the role in 1993.

Remi Moses

Joining the club as part of the deal that took Robson to United from West Brom in 1981, but for injuries Remi would have become a United/England regular for the best part of a decade A strong and brave midfielder, Remi had it all and won over the Old Trafford faithful early on his career.

Sadly for Remi every time he looked in tip-top form he would get stricken by injury. He was forced into retirement in 1988 at the age of 27 and remains one of the best players of his generation never to have been capped by England.

Tomasz Kuszczak

The first Pole to play for United joined the club on loan from West Brom in the summer of 2006 as back-up for Van der Sar after Tim Howard left the club. He made his debut for the club against Arsenal early on in the 2006/07 season and despite United losing the game 1-0 impressed making several key saves including a first-half Gilberto penalty.

Tomasz joined the club officially in July 2007 and over the next 4 seasons has been a reliable back-up. He looks likely to leave the club in the coming weeks and at the age of 29, has the quality and experience to be a good first-choice keeper elsewhere.

By @ADennehey87

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Man Utd set to welcome on-loan star in the summer



Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez to return to Manchester United in the summer

Alexis Sanchez will return to Old Trafford in the summer, according to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. (h/t BBC)

Signed from Arsenal in 2018, Sanchez has struggled to replicate his form. The Chilean has made 38 appearances for United, scoring three goals and six assists.

This accounts for a goal contribution of 0.23 per game for United. The figure pales significantly from the 0.72 per game he achieved at Arsenal.

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez has struggled in his time at Old Trafford

The Chilean’s loan at Inter Milan hasn’t gone according to plan either, playing just 214 minutes due to injury.

The United manager stated the difficulties of signing players in the January transfer window and backed Sanchez to prove his critics wrong if given a second chance.

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United are still paying half of Sanchez’s salary while the player is on loan at Inter (h/t BBC).

The Chilean’s transfer has so far proven to be a disaster. However, if Solksjaer is to be believed, Sanchez could still have the last laugh.

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Man United face PL battle to sign 28-year-old Serie A star



Matias Vecino

Everton to rival Man United for midfielder Matias Vecino

Manchester United face competition from Premier League rivals Everton for the signature of Inter Milan midfielder Matias Vecino, according to Gazella Dello Sport (h/t Mirror).

United are in the market for midfielders, with Paul Pogba and Scott Mctominay out injured. Inter have already rejected a loan offer from the Red Devils for the player.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mirror), Everton have now made a move to sign the player. Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti is said to be a fan of the 28-year-old having managed against him during his time at Napoli.

Matias Vecino
Matias Vecino has fallen down the pecking order at Inter Milan

The midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Inter with Antonio Conte preferring to use Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Borja Valero when fit. Stefano Sensi’s good form has also seen Vecino go out of favour.

Danish Superstar Christian Eriksen is set to join the Italian giants in the coming weeks. This could further limit Vecino’s chances and he would be better off moving elsewhere.

Vecino has two goals and two assists for Inter in 17 appearances this season. (h/t Whoscored)

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Conte, however, is reluctant to let the midfielder go in this window. Inter are currently three points behind defending champions Juventus as they try to win their first Scudetto in 10 years.

The Inter manager is keen to maintain a strong squad as the season nears its business end.

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Man United keen on signing 2 players on loan to replace Marcus Rashford



Odion Ighalo

Manchester United keen to loan Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani

Manchester United are keen on signing Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani on loan to provide cover for the injured Marcus Rashford. (h/t Sky Sports)

Ighalo plays for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League while Slimani is currently on loan at Monaco from Leicester City.

Both Ighalo and Slimani have the experience of playing in the Premier League, having done so on 55 and 39 occasions respectively.

Ismael Slimani Manchester United
Slimani has impressed at Monaco

Both players have done well for their current clubs so far. Ighalo has scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai whereas Slimani has registered 7 goals and 7 assists in 14 appearances for Monaco.

Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are also interested in Slimani (h/t Daily Star).

Ighalo has a better record out of the two in the Premier League. With the Chinese Super League likely to be indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic gripping the nation, it remains to be seen if the player will be allowed to travel.

Low-key but effective?

The injury to Marcus Rashford has left United without a reliable striker upfront. United have played both Liverpool and Burnley since the striker’s injury and have failed to hit the net in both games.

Given the nature of the January transfer window, it makes sense for the club to pursue a loan deal for an established forward until the summer.

Ighalo and Slimani are in their 30s but both players are physically imposing and are capable of playing as a target man upfront.

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United are currently 5th in the table with 14 games left to go. We face Chelsea in the league in February, which will give us a chance to close the gap on a top-four spot.

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Transfer blow for Man United as £13m difference could stop the deal for Portugese star



Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United at the risk of collapse

The transfer of Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon is at the risk of collapse with Sporting Lisbon holding out for £55million, according to Portuguese station TVI24 (h/t Metro).

The 25-year-old midfielder has informed the Portuguese club of his wish to move to Old Trafford and has already agreed on personal terms with United. Sporting are unhappy with United’s opening offer of £42m, which is £13m short of the Portuguese club’s expectation.

United’s offer contains a number of add-on clauses that can eventually take the deal to £60million. Sporting, however, deem the conditions improbable and are seeking a greater fee upfront.

Bruno Fernandes

Sporting are unwilling to drop their asking price as United have failed to include a player in exchange as a part of the deal.

The Portuguese side were willing to accept a lower fee had a player been included. However, neither Andreas Pereira or Marcos Rojo were willing to move to the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Fernandes played in the 2-0 loss to arch-rivals Benfica in what could be the player’s last match for Sporting.

The Portuguese club have demanded a minimum of £55.3million as a guaranteed payment. They also expect United to include bonuses that are more achievable.

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Sporting will have to pay 50% of the sell-on fee to Fernandes’ previous club Sampdoria and will look to get as much as they can from United.

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