So far this summer, Jose Mourinho has splashed the cash on Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, but that hasn’t been enough to satisfy the Portuguese.
He’s complained over what he perceives to be a lack of signings and still believes there’s work to be done in the market to get Manchester United up to scratch for the start of the Premier League season.
RealSport looks at whether that’s the case.
This is one area United certainly don’t need improving in. They have the best goalkeeper in the league, possibly even in the world in David de Gea and a more than capable backup in Argentine Sergio Romero. Not only that, in Joel Pereira they have an extremely young, talented ‘keeper for the future.
This is certainly an area they could do with some improvement. Oddly however, they have mostly been linked with right backs, the one area of their backline where they’re strongest. Antonio Valencia has transformed into an excellent right back having previously been a winger and was arguably one of the most consistent in the Premier League last season.
At centre back, moreover, Lindelof was an excellent player at Benfica last campaign, but may need a bedding in period to adapt to the qualities of the Premier League. Marcus Rojo was commendable for the Red Devils before his injury as was stand-in partner Phil Jones. Eric Bailly, too, is a great centre-half with a massive amount of potential, whilst Axel Tuanzebe can fill in when needed. Chris Smalling is free to go, but it still leaves United well-stocked in this department.
At left back, however, Luke Shaw is an excellent player with great potential, but has a horrible injury record and is seemingly out of favour with Jose Mourinho. Daley Blind, too, is a decent player, but he’s not first choice material for a side aiming to win the league and Matteo Darmian is a makeshift left back at best.
Who should they target?
Layvin Kurzawa is a very impressive left back and Paris Saint-Germain will need to recoup funds to square their issues with UEFA over the Financial Fair Play implications of their world record move for Neymar, so Kurzawa could be available at a fairly reasonable price.
Ryan Sessegnon has recently signed a new contract at Fulham, but a big enough offer and promise of regular first team football may sway his mind.
Mourinho was desperate for a deep-lying playmaker who can sit in front of the defence and allow Paul Pogba to express himself. He has his man in Matic, a £40 million acquisition from Chelsea, so United’s midfield is looking impressive.
They have a good blend of styles in midfield, too, with some talented youngsters looking to break through like Angel Gomes.
Juan Mata is an excellent number ten and has a bright young understudy in Andreas Pereira. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a versatile option capable of playing centrally and out wide, with a superb pre-season under his belt, the Armenian looks to a key player for United next season.
Paul Pogba, it goes without saying, is a world-class midfielder who can now unshackle himself from defensive responsibilities and show why United broke the transfer record to bring him home.
Ander Herrera has proven himself to be an excellent technical and combative midfielder and Michael Carrick still offers excellent quality and experience from the bench. Marouane Fellaini is also one of Mourinho’s most important players, despite the ridicule he often finds himself the subject of.
It leaves little to be desired in this department.
United now have the world’s most expensive ever striker in Romelu Lukaku and he should replace the goal-scoring exploits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Marcus Rashford is one of the brightest young strikers in world football, who can also play wide and should see plenty of game time, as will Anthony Martial, who, like Rashford is young, versatile and has enormous talent with an excellent pre-season campaign to build on.
Who should they target?
However, it’s no secret Mourinho is looking for another talented and established player to play in the wide position. Ivan Perisic has been linked a £50 million move to Old Trafford this summer, but that move seems to have cooled.
Another domino style consequence of Neymar’s move to PSG could lead to Julian Draxler’s availability for purchase.
A fantastic young talent that shone at the Confederations Cup as Germany’s captain, Draxler might see his minutes reduced given Neymar’s arrival and United would certainly represent an attractive proposition.
Yannick Carrasco at Atletico Madrid, moreover, would provide rapid pace, trickery and creativity from out wide, though the club are under transfer ban and Diego Simeone might be a little reluctant to sell.
Do United need to do any more business this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.
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