Former Reading and England international, Fara Williams, has spoken out about the Alessia Russo transfer and warned Manchester United that it could happen again.
Russo joined Arsenal earlier this week on a free transfer after United failed to negotiate a new contract to keep her at the club.
When speaking to talkSPORT, Williams was skeptical over the move, saying “I think it was obvious that was going to be the move that Alessia was going to choose.”
“I did ask the question on my podcast: ‘Is that a progressive move for her, given where United are looking to go and progress?’ I’m not sure.”
Williams criticised United for not doing more to secure Russo’s future in Manchester.
“Russo will have her reasons for why she’s done it. For Man United, in my opinion, they should have done a lot more to keep hold of her.”
She continued, “I know once a player has made up their mind on a move, it’s quite difficult to keep them. So, I don’t want to say United didn’t do enough, but look, they’ve got to the Champions League. In my opinion, there’s not really much difference between Arsenal and United at this stage.”
United finished above the Gunners in the league this season with the London side in a scrap with City as to who would secure the last spot in the Champions League places, a scrap they ultimately won.
The Reds also lost key defender Ona Batlle at the conclusion of her contract whilst Williams warns the same thing could happen with Mary Earps.
Earps contract expires at the end of next season and fans have also expressed their concern over this online.
“For someone like Mary Earps – who is in the form of her career probably to date – she’ll be wanting Manchester United to show real ambition with some of their signings,” Williams said.
“She spoke at the end of the Liverpool game and she said they need to strengthen in all areas of the pitch [and] they need to make their squad more competitive if they are to compete next year again and challenge for that title.”
She continued, “I’m sure Mary Earps will be looking at it and going: ‘Who are we bringing in?’ For her, if they don’t show any ambition this year, I’m sure Mary will be looking to go to a club that is showing more ambition, for sure.”
Williams pointed out the obvious in the need to make some big signings this transfer window but also noted the impact the departure of assistant coach, Martin Ho, would have on the team.
“I think Manchester United have got a lot to do, in terms of signings. They’ve obviously just lost their assistant coach [Martin Ho] as well, who I know was hugely respected by the players. They’ll have to make big signings.”
United announced their first signing earlier this week as they welcomed Gemma Evans to the club.
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