There is no question that Manchester United have a big summer ahead of them.
The Red Devils will finally return to the UEFA Champions League next season after winning the UEFA Europa League this past season. And while the team has a lot of talent to compete at the European stage, it would be foolish to believe the side has enough quality to mount a serious UCL title challenge as it is. Due to this scenario, the team needs to be extremely active on the transfer market. But first, let’s look at some of the in-house options United have as potential reinforcements for next season.
Andreas Pereira, Guillermo Varela, Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson should return from their respective loan spells. But we must be realistic; neither player looks ready to feature on a prominent role under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho. All of them need to improve in one way or another, and if United are serious about their title aspirations, then a loan would be the best thing for both parties.
The question then becomes – what must United do to improve the squad ahead of next season? The answer is simple, yet complex at the same time: the club has to remain active on the transfer market, because that seems to be the only avenue to improve substantially over a short period of time. We have seen it in clubs like Manchester City and PSG before. A few extra millions can go a long way in the pursue of quality players.
So far Manchester United have only made one signing. The arrival of Victor Lindelöf should improve the defensive line, but he’s not enough. The team needs depth defensively, another defensive midfielder, and proven players on the attack.
The rumors are out there. Alvaro Morata, Ivan Perisic, Gareth Bale, Felipe Anderson, Keylor Navas and Raphäel Varane are some of the names that could arrive to Old Trafford. However, only Morata and Perisic seem like realistic possibilities. And if we consider the Real Madrid striker would command a huge transfer fee, the move could easily backfire. It all depends on whether he can adjust to the pace of the English Premier League.
There has been a lot of talk regarding James Rodriguez as well. And honestly, the Real Madrid playmaker would be the perfect addition for United. He would allow Paul Pogba to play on his best role as a central midfielder, and he is also the superstar United needs to engage the fans once again. He is proven on a big stage, and is coming off a tough year with Los Merengues so there is no question he would want to bounce back. And what better place than England? His game is tailor-made for the Premier League.
Who’s Leaving This Summer?
In terms of departures, United have only lost one player but it was a big one. The Red Devils decided to not extend the contract of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, mostly due to an injury that will keep him out of action until December. And There is no doubt United will miss Zlatan’s presence both on and off the pitch. After all, he was the team’s top scorer with 28 goals in 46 matches across all competitions.
Zlatan is not the only player leaving this summer, though. Ashley Young and Luke Shaw might departure elsewhere. Even one of the central defenders – maybe Phil Jones or Chris Smalling – could leave if a better option arrives to the side. But everything depends on which players Mourinho decides to purchase.
The money is there. The desire to improve is also there. And we can bet nobody wants to win a league title more than the players and the manager. But everything will come down to United’s activity in the transfer market during the upcoming months. If they strike gold, then the club will take another step towards the glory spot in Europe they should have never left in the first place.