Following an unpredictable start to the Premier League so far this season, Manchester United are currently five points off first-place Liverpool with a game in hand. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had a slow start to the campaign, but they have been able to turn their form around as all as benefitting from the points dropped by the teams around them, as they presently sit in the top four positions.
With the reports already been raised inside the English media, it is more than possible than Manchester United could be one of the main clubs that will be occupied in the January transfer window. For sure, no comments have been made by the manager himself or from Ed Woodward on signing anyone next month, however, this season could be the best time for the club to challenge for the league title, especially with the likes of Chelsea, Man City and Spurs being inconsistent.
Here are three areas that Manchester United should look to upgrade on in January…
One of the key areas that needs to be addressed is the centre-back position, as the main partnership between Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof has regularly shown its weaknesses and is not strong enough to aim for league titles and trophies. Not only that, but the other options below the pair in Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are either injury prone or not good enough.
United have a few individuals to choose from, whether they want a short-term solution through Sergio Ramos or Ozan Kabak, with the former yet to renew his contact with Real Madrid whilst the latter has previously linked with the Red Devils along with AC Milan and Liverpool. On the other hand, the club could look into a long-term investment in Dayot Upamecano, who has been linked with the club time and time again and is regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe.
Given the inconsistent season that Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been having and the lack of competition in the right-back department, it is a must for the club and the manager to bring the much needed quality and depth to improve on this area. Recently, the former Crystal Palace man has been unavailable due to injuries, causing the side to play centre-back Victor Lindelof out of position.
At this moment of time, the side’s option at right back are Wan-Bissaka and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who do not have the ideal skillset to provide qualities on both sides of the pitch. Furthermore, with most of the team’s attack coming from the left flank, the side’s way of playing has become very predictable and obvious, leading to Solskjaer possibly signing a right-back or amending his tactics.
Manchester United’s options in midfield are spot on, in terms of the individuals they require to play in the box-to-box role or in the position as the advanced midfielder. However, all that is missing is the ideal defensive-midfielder, in order to provide the balance to the midfield and offer extra protection to the backline. Due to the club spending a lot of money on centre-back in recent years, the chances of signing another is unlikely, which is why a defensive-midfielder is a huge priority.
With Nemanja Matic rapidly ageing and unable to play on a weekly basis, and Scott McTominay not having the intelligence and passing quality to play as the lone holding midfielder, it leaves the club and the manager with a huge void that requires to be filled in order for the team to confidently challenge for the league title. There aren’t many players to target in this position, but a player like Douglas Luiz, Kalvin Phillips or Denis Zakaria would be perfect, to help the team progress on and off the ball.