Expert: Man United 'gamble' has backfired amid £26m reveal
It is an inherent “gamble” to hand players big-money contracts – and Man United were burnt in 2021-22 because of bad luck when it came to injuries.
That is the view of injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.
Data collated by Premier Injuries and posted via Twitter last Wednesday (27 June) showed that United paid £25.7million to sidelined players in 2021-22.
They paid £7m more to injured stars than Chelsea who had the second-worst record and almost twice as much as third-place Everton.
Paul Pogba alone cost the Red Devils £5m, with the 29-year-old Frenchman missing the bulk of the season to hamstring injuries.
But Dinnery explains that United’s outlay is a combination of bad luck and an enormous wage bill.
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“In terms of overall salary budget, we know it’s in excess of £200m per season,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“United lost around 12 to 13 per cent of that to sidelined players. It’s a big chunk of change.
“If you look at the top four injuries in terms of cost last season, Ben Chilwell was top with that ACL injury. But the next four injuries were all attributed to Man United players.
“It was the likes of Martial, Pogba, Varane. All of those players are on big salaries and were out for significant periods. That contributed massively.
“In terms of the injuries themselves, there are elements of luck involved. We see Edinson Cavani who was accused of prioritising his duties for Uruguay, for example.
“Pogba picked up that injury for France. He didn’t feel the love at United. How much did that contribute towards his non-comeback?
“Martial wasn’t happy for a while before his move Seville, also. Then with Varane, he was coming to a new league and new style of play.
“That is the gamble you take when you sign players on big contracts. Overall, their injury record wasn’t the best. But they didn’t lose the most minutes or players in the league.
“Inherently, it comes down to the fact that bigger budgets attract bigger players on greater salaries.”