Manchester United : The unsolved riddle

Manchester United pipped Chelsea on goal difference to finish third in the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign. They accumulated 66 points, compared to Champions Liverpool’s 99 points. The gap between the arch-rivals is pretty evident and it’s big. So what do Manchester United need to do to bridge the gap?

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to excessively rely on the same starting eleven due to a lack of quality
options on the bench. At the back end of last season, a serious lack of squad depth hampered United
fighting on all front and their chances of finishing the season with a trophy, as they lost out in three semi-finals.

Positions that Manchester United need to fill if they want to challenge for the title :

Holding Midfielder

Man United need a Defensive midfielder to give freedom and cover to both Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. While they did buy Donny Van de Beek recently, the Dutchman is not a natural defensive midfielder. However, owing to his versatility, it won’t be surprise to see him succeed at the defensive midfield position.

Nonetheless, Manchester United should buy a more natural defensive midfielder (like Ndidi) to compete for the holding midfield spot alongside Nemanja Matic.

Left Back

In all honesty, it is fair to say that Luke Shaw lacks the quality to classify him as a great Left-back while Brandon Williams is still a developing player. Manchester United should target someone like Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax) as a quality alternative for the LB slot.

Center Back

Harry Maguire aside, none of Manchester United’s center backs look world-class. There is a need for someone who can cover Harry Maguire’s lack of pace. Kaliou Koulibaly (Napoli), Dayot Upamecano(RB Leipzig) and Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) would be good potential Targets for the English team.

Right Winger

United’s front three need someone with a spark to add more depth and guile to already good attack. The much talked about interest in Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) seems to have cooled down. Both the clubs have been unable to agree on a transfer fee making the English team look elsewhere. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa ) is also being scouted by Ole Gunner Solskjaer. David Brooks (Bournemouth) is the next cheaper alternative that United might just have a look at.


Odion Ighalo’s loan expires in January 2021. Potential targets: Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Edinson Cavani (Free agent)

Promoting youth players can also help the club add a much-needed cover to a very thin squad. In recent years, Manchester United have become cumbersome to react to their squad deficiencies and are only looking at players who are of commercial value to the club.

Ed Woodward is a smart investment banker, he can run the economic show. However, Manchester United is a football club. Its image is built on the success they have had over the years on the pitch. Frankly speaking,
United board have lost track of it, they don’t seem to priorities the main element of the brand they are


Expectations for the coming season have been subdued due to the club’s lack of transfer market action as
rivals have strengthened their squads. There is a feeling amongst fans that Manchester United could further slip back instead of building ahead if they don’t target the players in the right positions to add to their depleted squad. So, where is this Great club headed? It remains an unsolved riddle.

For more articles on Premier League teams, click here.

Yash Shah

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