Why Marcel Sabitzer did not re-sign for Manchester United after loan spell

Marcel Sabitzer pictured after signing for Manchester United on Deadline Day 2023
Marcel Sabitzer signed on loan for Man United last year -Credit:Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Marcel Sabitzer will line up for Borussia Dortmund this evening with ambitions of reaching the final of the Champions League firmly in mind.

To many Manchester United fans who care to think back to his stint at Old Trafford, it will not be a surprise to see him doing so well at his new club. After being signed on January Deadline Day last season, Sabitzer was always seen as a temporary filler while Christian Eriksen was on the sidelines injured.

However, there is no doubt that when called upon, the midfielder gave his all for the cause. A particularly impressive performance came during the Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw at home to Sevilla where the Austrian scored twice.

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It was clear that Sabitzer's time at Bayern Munich was coming to an end and that he would be available to purchase at the end of the season. But a meniscus injury ended his loan stint early.

MEN Sport reported in July 2023 that United were keeping their options open on purchasing Sabitzer but that a permanent deal was seen as 'unlikely'. Before the month ended, Sabitzer had joined Dortmund permanently and was facing off against his old club in a pre-season clash in Las Vegas.

The 30-year-old was never seen as a permanent option once Eriksen was fit but it did not stop him from speaking fondly of the Reds. He told Dortmund's club media upon arrival at the Bundesliga team: "I remember a lot of things from my time at Manchester United.

"I was very impressed by the fact of having played for a club of such stature. I had a smile every day at the thought of being there and playing.

"It's also because I had playing time [at United] that I found my rhythm and my self-confidence. I showed good things there and that has an impact because a year and a half ago everyone doubted me.

"When you can prove again that you can play a part in big clubs like this, it's good for confidence." It could arguably be seen as a misstep that United chose not to purchase Sabitzer considering how he has performed this season.

The midfielder has 37 appearances to his name in all competitions and has pulled his weight up front with 15 goal contributions to his name so far. Had he not gained an injury towards the end of his loan spell, who knows what might have been for Sabitzer at Old Trafford.