Three defenders Man Utd should sign in January

Three defenders Man Utd should sign in the January transfer window

By Sam Lambeth

Manchester United invested in firepower towards the end of the summer transfer window, but they’re still looking fragile in defence.

So far this season, new manager Louis van Gaal has used a plethora of partnerships at the back, with youngsters Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair handed debuts.

To keep their hopes of hitting the top-four on track, the Red Devils will need to work their magic in January and bring in at least one proven centre-half.

At present, one of their best defenders is Phil Jones, but the Englishman is never far away from injury or an erratic decision.

So it is time for Van Gaal to get that cheque book out once more. Here are three options he could choose from:

Mats Hummels

Mats Hummels has been on United’s radar for some time, but Van Gaal was rebuffed when he tried to capture the Borussia Dortmund defender in the summer. Since then, however, Dortmund have had a shocking start to the season, and should this poor form continue through the bitter winter months, the German side may be more susceptible to Van Gaal’s charms. Commanding a reported £47m price tag, he won’t come cheap, but the Dortmund captain will be a steadfast presence in a revolving door back-line.

Ryan Shawcross

Man Utd and their fans will need no reminding of the perils the January transfer window possesses. Limited targets, inflated asking prices and last-minute deals are all par for course, meaning the defenders on United’s more long-term list may have to wait till next summer. Ryan Shawcross hasn’t had the career elevation many expected, but he has been a rock in Stoke’s impressive defence, a commanding centre-half, who has plenty of Premier League experience and would be a finer English presence than Chris Smalling.

Ron Vlaar

After his wonderful performances with Holland in the World Cup, Aston Villa must have been wary of the circling vultures eyeing up their captain. Whether Ron Vlaar can cut it at a more prestigious club remains to be seen, but concrete Vlaar’s no-nonsense approach and good leadership skills would ease United’s communication problems and provide a good foil to Marcos Rojo, once the Argentine recovers from his shoulder injury.

Follow @thesportreview on Instagram

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Christian Pulisic
Sky Sports pundit: Christian Pulisic can’t replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Martin Keown
Martin Keown makes Arsenal claim about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola rates Chelsea FC and Arsenal’s title chances
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba still ‘desperate’ to leave Man United – report