The Voids in Manchester United

The Voids in Manchester United

With Ole Gunnar Solskjær destined for the full-time position at Old Trafford, he needs to start preparing for the upcoming season as potential title challengers. Before they can return to their glory days, they need to bring in some reinforcements to add some depth to their threadbare squad.  

Recent reports suggest that Solskjær will overlook United’s defensive frailties and focus more on attacking targets, which seems odd looking at their poor defensive record this season. Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, united have brought in 5 defenders, many of which failed to elevate United’s defence. This season, United have been caught out many times by their weak defence as seen in the first leg of the round of 16 game against PSG where former United winger, Angel Di Maria, tormented Ashley Young on the flanks.

The 33-year-old Ashley Young has trouble facing younger opponentwhile Diogo Dalot, still 19-years-old, has yet to mature to become Manchester United’s first team right back. Chris Smalling plays more like a wrestler than a centre back while Eric Bailly hasn’t taken his chances in the team. The injury prone Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are just not good enough to play week in, week out. They can’t keep relying on the brilliance of David De Gea as he can only do so much. 

As Ferguson once said,Attack wins you games, defense wins you titles.”, United need to shore up their feeble defense if they want to be genuine contenders next season.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was a target for Mourinho when he was still in charge. The 27-year-old Senegalese centre back has the physicality and the ferocity to thrive in the Premier LeagueKoulibaly has been part of a Napoli side who have managed to keep clean sheets in 50% of their games this season which he played in and would cost up to £95 million. But it would definitely be a worthy investment if he helps them win trophies. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Crystal Palace right back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, has been a bright spot for Palace and has garnered interest from teams like Bayern and Arsenal. Just 21-years-old, he still has many good years ahead of him and could develop into one of the best right backs in the league. With his attacking prowess, pace, and unwavering defensive abilitySolskjær should be looking at Wan-Bissaka as a potential target.

United have depended upon the steady performances of their midfield with Paul Pogba at the helm. However, they lack the depth of quality midfielders to assert their influence on the game. Their recent injury problems have exposed United’s lack of midfield options forcing them to turn to academy graduates Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira. While Fred seems to be the next best option, he has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since his £52.5 million transfer last summer. As such, they need at least another option in midfield to put up a strong title challenge. 

In recent weeks, reports of an unsettled Philippe Coutinho, with Dembele preferred over him by Ernesto Valverde, has sparked rumors of a potential transfer to United. The 26-year-old Brazilian is renowned for his ability to cut in and shoot from either foot. Terrorizing defenders with his skillful dribbling was a common occurrence during matches. He’s proven himself in the Premier League with Liverpool and would definitely be an asset at Manchester United, providing strong competition for the other midfielders. 

Under Solskjær, United’s attack has been reinvigorated and much more potentBut seeing how much damage the current attackers have been able to inflict under his management, imagine what he could do with some of Europe’s most deadly and established attackers in their side. 

Credit: Getty | Jadon Sancho

Former Man City youth academy product, Jadon Sancho, has been heavily linked with a £100 million move to the red side of Manchester in the Summer. His performances at Dortmund put him at the top of Solskjær’s wish list as he troubles his Bundesliga opponents with his technical flair and pace. He would be a much better option than the waning Alexis Sanchez who has failed to produce anything substantial in his time at the club. United would be making a worthy investment considering he is only 18-years-old. 

Mauro Icardi

Mauro Icardi, who is out of favour at Inter Milan, may look for a way out and would be a fantastic addition to United’s attack as his movement and ability in the box make him one of the most lethal strikers in the Serie A. His ability to hold up play and play off the ball makes him a valuable addition to any team. Icardi has scored 122 goals in 179 appearances for Inter in his six seasons there. Considering Lukaku’s poor touch and inconsistent finishing, the Argentinian is a more finished article and would be a fine addition to an attacking side like United, challenging the likes of Sergio Aguero for the golden boot. 

United undoubtedly have the financial capabilities to sign top quality players, spending over $400m in the last three seasons combined. Unless they improve the depth of their squad, United are going to miss out on silverware next season despite the resurgence in recent weeks. This summer is crucial as it will determine if United can bolster their squad to genuine contend for the title.

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