The team knew they’d be going into this year upfront and that was even before their star forward suffered a double Strain fracture. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took a risk when he played with Marcus Rashford against Wolves, but broader mismanagement in the club is the main cause of his injury.

The harm could take several months to cure, and any complications could place the 22-year-old forward’s place in the England squad for Euro 2020 in peril.

United boss Solskjaer was conscious that there was an opportunity that Rashford’s existing problem might have been made worse by demanding treatment at the hands of his opponents, but he was passed fit to play with the club’s medical staff.

Solskjaer is also conscious that the club physio department is lacking compared to their rivals, and tried to bring Celtic’s Tim Williamson into the club so as to head up significant improvement to the club’s backroom operations. Williamson was finally reluctant to join the club in their present state and the hunt for a new head of physio has started again.

This summer, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward struck a deal that saw United cover around $261,000 per week to Alexis Sanchez so as to ease his loan deal to Inter, a deal with no obligation to purchase. The identical transfer window saw Romelu Lukaku linked up with Antonio Conte in Inter, following the Belgian striker dropped from Solskjaer’s long-term aims.

Despite getting around $91 million for Lukaku and halving the wages obligations for Sanchez, Woodward was not able to discover any forward replacement. For all of the discussion of the club’s move prowess, virtually every window feels as though it leaves United least one player light.

While the coming of Daniel James has been both a success and a deal, there ought to have been funded for a new striker. The adolescent has done tremendously well and promises to be a first-team fixture for many years to come, but his slow introduction to the group reveals Solskjaer’s reticence to put too much pressure on such a young player. Mario Mandzukic, a one time United goal, moved to Qatar this January with the club promising themselves their relocation for Erling Haaland is a success.

Lingard’s limitations are evident, and the 27-year-old’s engaging of Mino Raiola as his representative indicates that moves are afoot for him to get a new club at the end of the season.

Determined by Rashford to take the side’s goalscoring burden has finally cost United, and they enter the second half of this year with a mounting injury list one of their front-six alternatives. Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba are not likely to be back any earlier than Rashford, placing the club’s chase for a top-four end in peril. A late move for Edinson Cavani won’t be enough.

The two Solskjaer and Woodward were aware of the side’s lack of depth, and after it had been consistently highlighted in the fall, the pair solved to include options in January. The club no additional forward are required, but they’ve been left facing a standing begin to have at least one bargain over the line.

Given the harm to Rashford, interest in Wolves star-man Raul Jimenez might be revived but the team isn’t prepared to countenance a joint expenditure of about $131 million this January. United continues to haggle over the construction of this deal for midfielder Bruno Fernandes; a bargain which Sporting still hopes to finish to solve their particular financial difficulties.

It remains most likely that United will still signal Fernandes as both United and Sporting have to do deals to keep their clubs afloat, that is when it comes to standing for United and financially, in Sporting’s case.

Really, the Carlos Tevez arrangement ended in acrimony, and before that Henrik Larsson just spent three months in the club despite Sir Alex Ferguson wants to keep him for the rest of the 2006-7 season.

The funding is there, but the experience isn’t. It might have been a scheduled appointment to run the football operations in the club more efficiently, allowing Woodward to come back to the industrial sector which is his experience.

Each mistake compounds the last as basic weaknesses are left unaddressed. The Rashford injury should only be a blip, but the present conditions could turn it into a catastrophe.