Manchester United are getting closer to the finish of the season. This one so far has not been successful, as the early exit from the Champions League has left a poor taste in United’s improvements built on last season. The league title was effectively lost in early December, after a 2-1 loss to Manchester City and never since has there been a real possibility of anyone challenging Pep Guardiola’s side.
There is still the FA Cup to play and Manchester United could go and win it. They will first half to beat Tottenham in semifinals and then repeat that against either Chelsea or Southampton. As Nemanja Matic pointed out, even if the Devils go on and win this trophy, the season will not be a success.
The Squad Was Improvement Last Summer, But Not Sufficiently
Matic said that winning just one trophy of the four possible is not good enough for a club of this stature and he has point. However, what made this season far worse than it could have been is the Champions League exit in the round of 16.
If Manchester United were able to reach at least the quarter-finals, or even the semis, this season would be a good one. Returning to the near-top of European football would be a great thing, especially after a Europa League win last term. This way, a loss to a poor Sevilla side is something that cannot be looked past.
Yet, this summer, Manchester United will need an overhaul. This squad is better than the one from the year before, but if United are to be anywhere near challenging for the Premier League title or Champions League, then many players need to be brought in.
How Many In, How Many Out?
ESPN have announced that Jose Mourinho is ready to offload at least nine players this summer and assemble a new squad tailored to his needs. We will not be talking about the exact number, as that is all just speculation at this point, but the truth is that Man United need to change many things.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave the club while Michael Carrick will join Mourinho’s staff. Luke Shaw is also set to leave this summer, after another public criticism of his displays from the manager. That is already three. Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind are also expected to leave as United will listen to offers, while Chris Smalling and Juan Mata could also be going somewhere else.
Marouane Fellaini could be gone if his contract situation is not resolved and Ander Herrera does not seem like a player that Mourinho could use properly for what he needs. That’s already nine names and none of these players will have a big role in this squad.
Maybe some of them could be useful squad players for when Mourinho needs to rotate, but the message is clear – too many players in this squad are not at the highest level that Manchster United require. The board and the manager will have to work hard in order to bring as many new players in. That is never an easy task, but United have to be brave in the market.
That is not going out and spending crazy sums of money for a couple of players, but getting those that could shine under Mourinho’s guidance.