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Man Utd Transfer News: Erik ten Hag’s lucky escape? €90m ex-target Randal Kolo Muani is a flop – and he knows it

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 10 Feb 2024 13:17 GMT
  • 4 min read
Erik ten Hag, Man Utd, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Randal Kolo Muani was one of Europe’s most in-demand players in the summer of 2023.

The then-Eintracht Frankfurt sharpshooter was coming off a spectacular debut season in Germany, having notched 23 goals and 17 assists across 46 games in all competitions. The 25-year-old had also featured for France at the 2022 World Cup, just six months after leaving Ligue 1 Nantes for absolutely nothing.

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The Eagles eventually sold Kolo Muani to PSGfor a whopping €90 million, with the free-spending French giants reinvesting the money they had received from Al-Hilal for Neymar. It all happened just as the summer window was about to close, leaving Kolo Muani’s future in the balance.

“I still don’t know how I managed to sign for PSG. I didn’t even read the contract, I just signed at the bottom of each page, without knowing what I was doing. Everything was done at speed…I’ve never seen anything like it. It was crazy stressful,” the striker has revealed in an interview Onze Mondial.

Since his transfer, however, things haven’t quite gone to plan.

Randal Kolo Muani
© IMAGO – Randal Kolo Muani

A major flop?

Kolo Muani, who hails from the same Paris suburb as Kylian Mbappe, has thus far underwhelmed in the French capital. At first glance, a return of 11 goals and three assists for the season looks respectable, but that is before taking into account that three of those goals came while he was still a Frankfurt player.

For PSG, the 25-year-old has only notched eight goals in 23 games so far, which is a very underwhelming return for someone who cost €90m. The player knows he is considered a flop right now. “In Germany, I was confident, that’s why I felt fulfilled on the pitch. I just need to be happy and confident and everything will flow.”

“Today, I’m happy, but I’m not as happy as I was in Germany. The criticism affected me at the start, I’m a human being, I’m not a wall, I’m not a robot, I have emotions and feelings, but I’m not sad. I’m happy to be a PSG player, but I could be better…Concerning the transfer fee, it is significant.”

“Personally, it’s hard to digest. It’s a different pressure for me to take on. I am digesting it little by little.” However, the striker vows to eventually come good: “But I’ll tell you a secret: over time, people will say that it was a good price for Randal Kolo Muani. I know that at the moment people are saying: ‘€90m for Kolo Muani, what is that?’ I say: ‘They will see,’ quite simply.”

Nevertheless, you have to say that those clubs who were ultimately put off by his hefty price tag made the right decision not to force a deal. Man Utd, for example, were heavily linked with Kolo Muani in January and the summer, but did not have the resources to sign him.

The Red Devils instead snapped up Rasmus Hojlund for €74m – still a ridiculous fee, mind – and the 20-year-old has outshone Kolo Muani this term despite dealing with some struggles himself. The Dane has recorded 10 goals and two assists in 28 games for his new club so far.

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