Manchester United draw with Real Sociedad justifies Ed Woodward changing transfer focus

Manchester United were unable to beat Real Sociedad in their Europa League clash on Thursday night. But that’s no bad thing, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side through to the round of 16. Express Sport will now bring you five things we learned from the showdown.

Ed Woodward changing focus justified

For a long time, United’s priority has been Jadon Sancho.

But they’ve since changed their mind and now want a new striker, with Erling Haaland their No 1 target.

That, certainly, has been justified with Anthony Martial continuing to struggle in the match against Sociedad.

The France international appears low on confidence and, at one stage, should have shot instead of passing it sideways.

That speaks volumes about his current mood and, while he produced a fine curling effort that was saved, Martial continues to be a worry.

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Luke Shaw was missed

United chose to start Alex Telles against Sociedad.

And while the Brazil international did well enough, it’s clear to see why he’s spent so long on the bench this season.

Simply put, Telles didn’t carry the same attacking threat as Luke Shaw often does.

Shaw has scaled new heights in his career this season and United missed his energetic presence at left-back.

Telles did well enough to keep a clean sheet but the offensive area of his game, the one United signed him because of in the first place, needs work.

Dean Henderson oozes confidence

Sat in the stands against Sociedad was David De Gea.

And though Dean Henderson had previous little of note to do, the 23-year-old appears to ooze confidence.

Most goalkeepers dive when they’re facing a penalty – but not the former Sheffield United loan star.

Henderson backed himself, standing his ground, as Mikel Oyarzabal then blazed over.

Perhaps his refusal to move put the Sociedad star off. Or maybe it was just a really bad penalty?

Axel Tuanzebe is unlucky

It’s been a rough season for Axel Tuanzebe.

The defender was subjected to unacceptable abuse on social media after the draw with Everton, with the footballing world rallying to jump to his defence.

Tuanzebe did some jumping of his own against Sociedad, appearing to have broken the deadlock with a thunderbolt header.

And he was unlucky to see the effort chalked off, with Victor Lindelof adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up.


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