Manchester United’s Transfer Dilemma: Michael Olise or Roony Bardghji?
Reports suggest that Manchester United have identified Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise as one of their primary transfer targets for the upcoming summer, marking the dawn of the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era. However, doubts arise following the 22-year-old’s recent injury, potentially steering United towards exploring alternative options with lesser risk.
While the Red Devils are keen on securing Olise’s services, they face stiff competition from rivals Chelsea and Manchester City. Interestingly, Olise reportedly favors a move to Manchester over Chelsea, despite the latter’s failed pursuit last summer, where they triggered his £35 million release clause only to see him commit to a new deal at Selhurst Park, including a £50 million release clause.
Despite Olise’s undeniable talent, concerns loom large over his injury history, especially as Manchester United grapple with their own fitness woes this season. The French U21 forward’s recurring hamstring injury, suffered during a recent defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, further exacerbates these concerns.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson has faced criticism for risking Olise’s fitness when already trailing 3-0 against their rivals, leading to another two-month absence for the winger. This setback casts doubt on United’s willingness to invest in another injury-prone player.
Furthermore, the emergence of Alejandro Garnacho, who has impressed since replacing the underperforming Antony, may shift United’s priorities. Garnacho’s form since Boxing Day, with four goals and one assist, could prompt the club to seek a more cost-effective alternative to Olise that wouldn’t disrupt Garnacho’s burgeoning momentum.
Enter Roony Bardghji, the 18-year-old starlet from FC Copenhagen, who has caught the eye with his performances, including an 87th-minute winner against United in the Champions League this season. Bardghji’s versatility on either wing and impressive goal-scoring record make him an intriguing prospect for United.
Valued at around £17 million, Bardghji presents a considerably cheaper option compared to Olise. This potential move would allow Garnacho to maintain his starting role while providing manager Ten Hag with one of Europe’s most promising teenage talents.
While Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also shown interest in Bardghji, United’s pursuit could signal a shift in their transfer strategy, prioritizing value and talent over extravagant fees. Ultimately, acquiring Bardghji could offer United both financial prudence and a valuable asset for the future, potentially paving the way for further squad reshuffling come summer.