Four Man United signings Jose Mourinho needs in summer transfer window
Manchester United need to recruit in four key positions this summer ahead of a return to the Champions League next season
A lack of pace
Manchester United’s lack of pace in wide areas was a big problem last season. It contributed to their 15 draws in the Premier League in their first campaign under Jose Mourinho – and 10 of those stalemates were at Old Trafford. The Manchester United manager was reluctant to place his faith in Anthony Martial, who looked distracted and out-of-form all too often.
The Sport Review exclusively reported earlier this month that Manchester United were interested in re-signing Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain. His £57m price tag could be a stumbling block but it is reassuring to see the Red Devils looking to address one of their biggest issues in the 2016-17 campaign. Inter Milan star Ivan Perisic is thought to be another option but a £40m transfer fee does seem absurd considering the Serie A side paid £16m to Wolfsburg for the winger’s services less than two seasons ago.
Manchester United have signed up Michael Carrick for another 12 months at Old Trafford despite the 35-year-old being deep into the twilight of his career. It perhaps highlights Manchester United’s struggle to find a player capable of fulfilling the defensive and offensive duties that Carrick carries out so efficiently.
According to reports in the English media, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier is at the top of Mourinho’s wish list to strengthen this position. The England international would certainly provide longevity in the position and a defensive presence, but the 23-year-old lacks the ball-playing skills of Carrick.
A proven goal-scorer
Manchester United had to rely on Marcus Rashford to lead the attack in the final months of the season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s season-ending knee injury left Mourinho short up front and Wayne Rooney was hopelessly out-of-favour and out of form. Ibrahimovic has since been released by the Red Devils which only emphasises Manchester United’s need to improve their options up front.
The Antoine Griezmann transfer saga appears to have been put to bed (for now), and Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is their top target. However, the Spain international hasn’t played a lot of first-team football over the past 12 months and there should be concerns about his ability to lead the line on a weekly basis. The same concerns can be applied to another Manchester United target: Andrea Belotti. Everton striker Romelu Lukaku would appear to be a safer option give his record at Goodison Park and experience of playing in the Premier League.
Centre-half box ticked
Of course Mourinho has already strengthened one key area this summer: centre-half. Sweden defender Victor Lindelof became Mourinho’s first summer signing last week when he completed a £30.7m move from Portuguese champions Benfica. But could Mourinho be tempted to sign another centre-half given his problems in this position last term?
The Manchester United boss had to contend with a number of defensive headaches last season. Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling all spent prolonged spells on the sidelines with injuries. The English duo have been linked with potential exits this summer.