Listening to the players is a risky approach, and United must be cautious. Pochettino, on the other hand, has a wealth of experience in English football and seems certain to win the Ligue 1 title with PSG this summer.
So, if the Argentine is appointed, United fans will rally around him, even if he is seen as the less intriguing of the two candidates, along with Erik Ten Hag.
Pochettino will inherit a fractured squad, rather than the title-ready squad United believed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s’rebuild’ would have left for the 2022/23 season.
The striker position is one area in which Pochettino would be anxious to improve. Edinson Cavani is departing, while Cristiano Ronaldo is 37 and out of shape. United requires a new goalkeeper.
Don’t put all of your eggs in Kane’s basket.
Pochettino’s main temptation will be to sign Harry Kane from his former club Tottenham Hotspur. This will not sit well with his former employers, but it may entice the athlete.
Kane was plainly unhappy at Tottenham last year, attempting to arrange a move to Manchester City, according to The Sun. Tottenham’s asking price of £160 million was too much for them as well.
It would be a major gamble for United to blow their resources on Kane this summer. While we can’t say it would be a mistake because he is a terrific goalscorer, the likelihood is that signing the England striker for United would not transform the team’s fortunes.
United have significant midfield gaps to fill. Spending the entire budget on Kane would be a mistake, as would even attempting to do so, and spent weeks bargaining would be detrimental.
Kane’s form in the Premier League this season has been unimpressive, with only five goals in 20 games. He should be peaking at the age of 28, but the striker’s finest years may be behind him. He has not lived up to the £160 million Tottenham apparently thought he was worth.
The most compelling case against Kane is that this is the move that Ed Woodward would have made. According to ESPN, Kane was the former CEO’s ideal signing.
Create the next big thing.
A far more rational solution for Manchester United and Pochettino would be to try to replicate the success that catapulted Harry Kane to stardom in the first place, by fostering youth potential.
With Charlie McNeill, United may have found the ideal candidate. Since joining the Red Devils in September 2020, the former Manchester City trainee has scored 35 goals.
McNeill, 18, has been a key player in Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup run to the quarter-finals, as well as for the club’s under-23 team.
The teenager’s all-around game has also improved, and he is at a comparable stage of his budding career as Harry Kane was when Pochettino came over. He actually has more time on his side because he hasn’t been out on loan yet.
McNeill may be unable to replicate Kane’s achievements. It’s a tall task. In the meantime, United will require another striker. Given Pochettino’s track record, it makes far more sense to focus on the talented teenager rather than squander the entire budget pursuing Kane. If the Argentine is employed, United will hopefully be wise enough to avoid making that mistake.