After recently being eliminated from the Europa League Semi-finals due to a defeat against La Liga side, Sevilla, Manchester United’s 2019-20 season comes to an end, where they finished 3rd in the Premier League. And in terms of the other competitions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have reached the Semi-finals of the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, but have failed to show the required quality and crucial mentality to go onto reaching the final and end the season with some silverware.
When looking at the quality of the squad, it can quite comfortably be said that the Red Devils are in need of four to five players before they can think about challenging with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title. Of course, the money may not be there for the club to aggressively spend because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, where all football clubs have suffered with financial losses, but it should not be seen as an excuse to have a limited budget.
However, with the amount of money that Manchester United earn through TV rights and for achieving Champions League football along with the millions and millions of pounds that the owners have in their pockets, there should be no issues or problems in spending at least £150million this summer. If they go on to do so, the team will be able to at least aim to finish in the top four in back-to-back seasons, something that has actually not been completed since the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
With no further ado, here are the three important areas that United need to address this summer..
Since Luke Shaw has been on the sidelines with an ankle injury since the 1-1 stalemate at home to Southampton, the manager has had to settle with the likes of Brandon Williams and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who have not been able to show their potential or capability in the remaining games of the Premier League and Europa League. Some would argue that had Shaw been available for such fixtures, United would have possibly made it to the finals of the FA Cup as well as the Europa League.
Shaw has had his injury issues from time to time, but his absence has limited the side’s attack and productivity from the left-flank, as Marcus Rashford’s performances instantly dropped without his fellow countrymen in the team. On that note, it would make sense if Solskjaer was to send out Brandon Williams on loan whilst bringing in an experience left-back, who could provide competition or prove to be a reliable backup to Luke Shaw.
Left-back suggestions; Alex Telles, Alex Grimaldo, Lucas Digne.
Despite Nemanja Matic experiencing a small revival in the second half of the Premier League 19/20 season, both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United are still in need of an aggressive and consistent central midfielder. With Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba taking two of three spots in midfield, the side are in need of a number six or eight who can offer the much needed balance in the middle of the park, which had shown to be a rising issue in the final weeks of the league campaign.
Given that United will be taking part in the Premier League, Champions League and the domestic cup competitions, it is more than vital for the team to have enough quality and depth within the midfield department, something they have not had in a really long time. However, with only Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay available to take the third place in a three-man midfield, it is not enough to finish in the top four, let alone challenge for the Premier League or Champions League.
Centre-midfield suggestions; Boubakary Soumare, Marcelo Brozovic, Thomas Partey.
The final and most important area in the front three is all that remains now, the spot out on the right wing, which has been taken well in recent months by Mason Greenwood. However, the 18-year-old’s main position is as a number nine and it is too much to ask from him to be a creator and a direct winger, especially when United’s attack is predictable and one dimensional at the moment. Not only that, but with Luke Shaw on the sidelines, the side’s current fullbacks are Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who do not offer enough creativity and technicality in the attacking phase.
So, bringing in a right-winger is absolutely crucial for United, as both Marcus Rashford and Greenwood are regarded as two wide forwards rather than actual and natural wingers, which leads to the side’s key chances being created through the middle by Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba. If the Red Devils were to bring in an individual such as Jadon Sancho or Ousmane Dembele, Solskajer would be in possession of a front three that are capable of literally creating and scoring at any time.
Right-wing suggestions; Jadon Sancho, Ousmane Dembele, Ismaila Sarr.