Perhaps not all Manchester United fans were expecting the positive impact that Marcel Sabitzer has made on loan so far, but they are now understanding what an important signing it will become.
With Christian Eriksen’s season nearly coming to an end after a hideous challenge by Andy Carroll on him in the FA Cup, Manchester United delved into the market quickly and efficiently to understand what could be done.
Several avenues were pursued, but it was the road that led to Sabitzer at FC Bayern Munich that was most favourable. The German champions were receptive to any potential deal, given the Austria international had mostly found himself used as a substitute under Julian Naglesmann.
And while there was no buy-out option inserted in the six-month loan to Old Trafford, Manchester United fans will now be hoping that the central midfielder is signed permanently after showing his panache and ability on a regular basis.
It has not been an easy environment for Sabitzer, stepping through the doors to replace a fan favourite in Eriksen. Not only that, but with the red card that Casemiro picked up against Crystal Palace, which made him ineligible for three domestic matches, Sabitzer was tasked with partnering Fred in Manchester United’s midfield.
Two games, both against Leeds United home and away, were his first true tests, in which he overcame both with flying colours. A double header against Leeds, who had just sacked Jesse Marsch, was never going to be easy, especially with them fired up in what is always a ferocious match.
Sabitzer could have been forgiven for taking time in order to get used to the Premier
Perhaps not known for his defensive duties, Sabitzer clearly impressed in that regard with his non-stop energy, work ethic and recovery challenges that broke up play. Accompanied alongside Fred can be considered erratic at times, but Sabitzer played with the utmost composure and nuance that Manchester United needed at the time.
The Red Devils need midfield depth, there are no two ways about that, heading into next season, and with Sabitzer having acclimatised, and continuing to do so until the end of this current campaign, it makes complete, logical sense that Manchester United should purchase him on a permanent transfer.
Bayern Munich are likely to want a fee of around £18 million, which is slightly more than what they laid out for him 18 months ago. But given Sabitzer is clearly not at the forefront of Nagelsmann’s plans, and could have a fantastic role in Erik Ten Hag’s squad moving forward, there is no doubt that the Austrian would jump at the move.
Plenty more football is to be played from now until the end of the season, but Sabitzer’s three starts have resulted in 10 points from 12. His class, experience, and all round tenacity has been very much welcomed by the Manchester United faithful who sing his name.