Three positions Man United must strengthen before season starts
Dimitri Kondonis examines three positions Manchester United must strengthen before the end of the summer transfer window
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has been constantly linked with a new defender, with Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Ramos the two biggest names mentioned. It has since become evident that Ramos was only utilising the link to manoeuvre himself a better contract at Los Blancos. But the future of Otamendi is still up in the air, and United will be hoping to bring him in sooner rather than later as they will know as well as anybody that they need defensive reinforcements. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones aren’t good enough to win the title for United, while Jonny Evans still falls short of the type of defensive quality which Old Trafford is used to hosting; that of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Signing a centre-half is an absolute must for the former Netherlands boss if he is to stand a chance of overthrowing Chelsea’s charge for the double league victory.
Despite recently acquiring Argentina international Sergio Romero for the Old Trafford ranks, there is a sense that the South American may not be the first choice goalie. The former Sampdoria keeper impressed many spectators on Argentina’s run to the World Cup final in Brazil last year. And the comment that he won’t be first choice may sound glaringly obvious while fans’ favourite David De Gea remains at the club – but the Spaniard seems to be a ticking time bomb. He is seemingly set to move to Real Madrid, be it over the next month or next season, but his destiny lies in Spain. And United will subsequently require a goalkeeper of great quality to replace him – Romero may well turn out to be that man, but there seems to be a widespread anxiety about his ability. After all, he wouldn’t be the first footballer to impress during a World Cup campaign but fall short in the Premier League.
A marquee signing
Having brought in the experienced Germany World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and talented youngster Memphis Depay, Van Gaal will be relatively pleased with his transfer dealings so far. But he will know that his mission is not yet complete – if he is to win a title with the Old Trafford outfit this season, he must sign a player in the peak of their powers. There has been talk of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale coming to join the United ranks – and nothing would help boost their charge for a championship more than the acquisition of a player of this calibre. Marquee players do more than just score the goals, grab the assists and make the team tick – they provide impetus, and install a real belief in a side that they can win big trophies. A player of that quality will be a must on Van Gaal’s shopping list, it is just a question of whether he can complete a deal.